DOZENS of swimmers donned on their goggles and took the plunge this weekend to help raise money for charity.

Swimmers at the Dolphin Centre, in Darlington, were taking part in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Swimathon to help raise money for vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the UK and across the world.

It is the country’s biggest swimming fundraising event, and participants could swim either 1.5km, 2.5km or 5km.

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The youngest Darlington swimmer to take part was seven-year-old Ellie Overton who swam 2.5km in one hour and 40 minutes, raising £401 through sponsorship.

Her father Dave Overton said: “There was also a five-year-old swimming 12 lengths, and several eight-year-olds doing similar small distances with only one doing the 2.5km with Ellie.

“Ellie was persuaded to enter by her swimming tutor, Sarah, having completed her one mile swim in under an hour.”

KNITTING TIME: A new knitting group, called The Knitting Circle, led by textile artist and expert knitter, Becky Sunter, will meet tomorrow (Monday, March 24) from 10am to noon at Crown Street Library, in Darlington. The event is free and all abilities are welcome.

KEEP FIT: New mothers can get a helping hand in getting back into shape at a free Fit Mamas fitness session tomorrow (Monday, March 24). Participants are asked to meet at the bandstand in South Park at 10am.

PATCHWORK SESSIONS: Weekly sewing and patchwork workshops run by textile artist Sarah Oatley will be held at Lingfield Point next month. Special early-bird discounts are on offer, with five weeks of workshops costing £45 and ten weeks £75. For more information email or call 07970-048-802.

WARD SURGERY: Councillors Steve York and Doris Jones will hold a ward surgery for Middleton St George on Tuesday (March 25) from 6.15pm to 7.15pm at Dinsdale Court, in the village.

MILITARY FIT: A military fitness bootcamp will be held at South Park on Tuesday (March 25) from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Sessions are £5 or £29 per month.