MARATHON swimmer Nicholas Whitwam raised over £1,000 for a charity which helps provide leisure activities for adults with learning difficulties and disabilities.

The 38-year-old,  from Exelby, near Bedale, swam 32 lengths - over half a mile, of the local pool - to raise the funds for Breathing Space.

He’s a member of the organisation and said he wanted to give something back to thank them for their work.

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”I would like to say a big thank you to Bedale Leisure Centre for their generous support and encouragement and to everyone who sponsored me," he said.

Leisure centre manager Fiona Wilson said:“This is a massive achievement for Nicholas as he had to build up his stamina for the swim.

“He trained twice a week so he could manage the 32 lengths on the day. He now swims this and more, easily.”

Breathing Space is based at the Mencap centre in Northallerton offering help to people across Hambleton and Richmondshire, for information contact