PENSIONER Ann Hutchinson stood out from the crowd when she took the plunge yesterday for charity.

The 62-year-old, who suffers from severe arthritis, swam one-and-a-half miles to raise money for charity - wearing a blue wig.

Mrs Hutchinson, who lives in Morton-on-Swale, raised £200 for the Northallerton Breast Cancer Support Group, completing 100 lengths at Bedale Leisure Pool.

"I chose to wear the blue wig so that I would be noticed," she said.

Mrs Hutchinson uses walking sticks and used a hoist to get in and out of the water. But once in the pool, her arthritis presented no problem.

"I find swimming helps ease my joints, so it seemed appropriate to choose my regular exercise as a way of helping others."

A dedicated fundraiser, Mrs Hutchinson supports a different charity each year.

She chose the Breast Cancer Support Group as this year's charity following the death of her sister-in-law from the disease and has also run craft stalls and a cake stall at local events.

The Northallerton Breast Cancer Support Group is a self-help group, which offers support and information to those with breast cancer and their families.

It also promotes awareness of the disease and raises funds for local and national causes.