A SWIMMING star has been given a boost by her Brownie friends.
Jennifer Carmody, 10, has Down’s syndrome and swims with Sunderland Special Olympics team.
The Brownies of St George’s Church, in Ashbrooke, where Jennifer is a pack member, have been working to raise money for charity – and their pal.
The money will be split between a cystic fibrosis charity and the Sunderland Special Olympics.
The charity provides sports training and a competition programme for young people with learning disabilities.
Jennifer’s mum, Anne Carmody, said the Special Olympics have given Jennifer confidence and independence.
Anne, 45, added: “Before she joined, Jennifer could not swim on her own. She started getting one-to-one lessons and, in the past month, she was good enough to join the team.
“It’s one of the best things we’ve ever done,” added Anne, who lives in Ryhope.
Jennifer is set to compete in a national competition next year.
“It’s looking like Jennifer will take part in the National Summer Games of the Special Olympics, in Bath, which is great.
“It has really given her a bit of independence and she gets to meet other people like her.”
Kath Rooney, secretary and organiser for the Sunderland branch of the Special Olympics, said: “It was really nice for them to give it to someone like Jennifer.
“This money has been raised by Sunderland children for Sunderland children.”
The Brownies’ coffee evenings and raffles have so far helped raise an impressive £320.
Kath, 63, from Penshaw, started working with the Special Olympics four years ago.
“We have around 30 young members and whatever sport they do, they are trained up to competition level, if that’s what they want to do.”