Lily’s swim for disabled dad

Lily Wells with her dad, Tom.

Lily Wells with her dad, Tom. - Credit: Archant

A 10-year-old girl whose dad was paralysed in a tobogganing accident is preparing to swim the length of the channel to raise money for disabled people.

Lily Wells, from Portishead, will be diving into the pool at Parish Wharf Leisure centre to swim 1,416 lengths – which equates to distance from Dover to Calais.

Lily’s dad Tom has broke his back in an accident during a skiing holiday when he was 21. He has no mobility or sensation from the chest down and relies on a wheelchair to get around.

Lily said: “I’m doing this challenge to help people like my dad.”

Her mum Mary added: “Lily is more aware than most children about the realities of disability, seeing how time-consuming and difficult mobility is for her dad every day.

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“A family friend is paralysed from the neck down, so she has very personal reasons to spur her on.

“Tom and I swam the Aspire Channel Swim in 2009 raising £2,785 for Aspire and have always said that Lily can do it too when she’s old enough. She’s done a swimming gala at school and has weekly swimming lessons, but this will be a much bigger challenge – one which she is very excited to start.”

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The Aspire Channel Swim runs from September 12 to December 5 and participants take part in their local pool in their own time.

It is free to enter and all funds raised go towards helping people paralysed by spinal cord injury.

To sponsor Lily, visit or to register for the swim, visit

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