Mum’s swim for blind charity

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A SEVERELY sight- impaired mum is to swim one mile in aid of a charity which is fighting to survive.

Geraldine McKeag, 49, will take part in the Great East Swim, at Alton Water Park, near Ipswich, in June, for the second year running.

The mum of two aims to raise as much money as possible for the West Suffolk Voluntary Association for the Blind.

The charity needs to raise £30,000 this year to carry on its work in helping people deal with sight loss following funding cuts and a tough economic climate.

Mrs McKeag, of Radnor Close, Bury St Edmunds, received help from the association when she was registered severely sight- impaired after suffering from glaucoma.

She said: “I’ve got very restricted visual fields and I can’t see anything around the edges.

“They advised me on benefits as well as what I could and couldn’t do. It was helpful to have someone to talk to.

“Those who are completely blind and elderly really rely on that kind of service.

“They do some very good work and really need the funds.”

Mrs McKeag has been a swimming coach for children aged under five at Moreton Hall Health Club for nearly four years.

Last year she raised £2,000 for the charity from the Alton Water event and a sponsored swim with her swimming group.

She completed the Great East Swim with her swimming club colleague Julie Bloomfield, who will join her again this year.

Mrs McKeag added: “I was really quite frightened because I’ve never done anything quite like it in my life.

“I started training with the West Suffolk Wheelers and Triathlon Club, which was great.

“On the day, thoug,h it was the worst weather they ever had but we managed to do it.

“Hopefully the sun will shine this year.”