Sunderland swimmer on a wave of support

Emily Wood is completing a 22 mile sponsored swim to help raise money for charity.
Emily Wood is completing a 22 mile sponsored swim to help raise money for charity.
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A STUDENT is going to some lengths to help out a charity – 1,416 in fact.

Emily Wood plans to complete a total of 22 miles in Sunderland’s Aquatic Centre by the start of December.

The 17-year-old, who is studying A-Levels at St Anthony’s School, is raising funds for spinal charity Aspire.

The distance will be completed in 25-metre lengths during hourly trips to the pool and using a mix of strokes. The 22-mile target chosen by the charity represents the distance across the English Channel.

Emily has set herself a sponsorship target of £1,000 and has already topped £200.

The teenager, from Leechmere, Sunderland, said: “I’m keeping everyone up to date on how I’m doing on Facebook and I’m just putting my all in to it.”

Mum Lynne Wood-Forsyth, 42, a music teacher at St Aidan’s, added: “Twenty-two miles is a heck of a long way, it’s astounding, and do to it in eight weeks is a real challenge.

“We’re all supporting her, giving her a bit of encouragement, and she’s making a lot of effort.”

Among those adding their backing to her feat are sister Rhona, 15, and brother Kieran, 12, who are pupils at Southmoor School, and step-dad Ray Forsyth, 48.

The Aspire Channel Swim launched last month and ends on Sunday, December 4, with individuals, clubs and groups invited to take part.

Emily hopes to improve the feat she first completed last year by finishing the total distance with a better time.

She said: “I hope to beat last year and be a lot quicker. I’ve done two miles already this week.”

To sponsor Emily, visit

Further information about the challenge, visit or

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham