A LITTLE girl from South Normanton who is recovering from pneumonia stunned her family and friends when she raised cash for Children in Need with a sponsored swim.
Last year Charlotte Rankin, eight, from Broadmeadows, was diagnosed with pneumonia and sleep apnoea – a condition which stops her breathing while asleep – and underwent surgery to remove her tonsils.
She fell behind at school and lost confidence – forgetting how to swim, but was determined not to let the illness beat her. On Thursday, after ten months of hard work and training, Charlotte raised £250 by swimming ten lengths -–or 250 metres – of Alfreton Leisure Centre.
Proud mum Tianne said: “She has achieved a lot – bless her. She has been through a lot, but she’s a tough cookie.”
Charlotte received one-to-one coaching from instructor Jacqui Heath and, through sheer determination and hard work, managed to achieve her Stage 4 and 200-metre swimming badges. Tianne added: “This is something that we could never have imagined last year.”
Chris Bexton, duty manager at Alfreton Leisure Centre, said: “We are so proud of Charlotte for all the effort she has put in to not letting the illness beat her.
“It was Charlotte herself that came up with the idea of raising money for Children in Need with a sponsored swim. She signed up online for the BBC fundraising pack and as soon as it arrived she started getting sponsors.”
Staff at Alfreton Leisure Centre gave Charlotte a lane all to herself to do the swim, ahead of BBC’s Children in Need night on Friday, November 18.
Charlotte completed the ten lengths and wanted to carry on, but staff felt she had done enough for one night.
“Charlotte has said that she knows she is a lucky girl and that she wants to do this to help the children who are not so lucky.”
The plucky eight-year-old, who has a five-year-old brother called Thomas, also loves acting and goes to a stage school in Mansfield.
Meanwhile, Friends of Lons Infants School (FOLIS) collected £300 for Children in Need with a circular three and a half mile sponsored walk around Cromford Canal on Sunday November 6.
Horsley Woodhouse youngsters raised £255 after paying to wear clothing with spots on it for the day.