Schoolchildren make a splash to help others

The youngsters will take part in the Great North Swim 250
The youngsters will take part in the Great North Swim 250

Three youngsters from St Helens will be taking the plunge to raise money for a charity helping people around the world.

Ten-year-old Noah Bayley and his sister Heidi, nine, along with friend Josh Ridgway, 10, will take part in the Great North Swim 250 at Windermere next month.

Heidi Bayley was born with a cleft lip and palate

Heidi Bayley was born with a cleft lip and palate

They are raising money for Smile Train, which provides free cleft repair surgery in more than 85 developing countries, after Heidi was born with a cleft lip and palate.

Heidi’s mum Liz Bayley said: “Heidi was born with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate. We didn’t know about it until she was born and we very quickly found ourselves on a very steep and emotional learning curve.

“Little did we know what an inspirational and life-changing journey this learning curve would turn out to be. Time after time, Heidi has amazed us with her strength, courage and determination to overcome the condition.

“So many times we have been so touched by the kindness of doctors, nurses, surgeons, therapists and other healthcare professionals along our way, I found it so hard to understand how families coped without this immense source of medical and emotional support.

It feels very special to be able to help, in some small way, other children like Heidi from across the miles

Liz Bayley

“We came across Smile Train years ago during a hospital stay and the idea of raising money for such a wonderful charity never left my mind.

“Noah, Heidi and Josh wanted to raise money for Smile Train because they wanted to help children like Heidi to have the same wonderful opportunities that she has.

“We have been so blessed with the healthcare that Heidi has received. It feels very special to be able to help, in some small way, other children like Heidi from across the miles.”

The Great North Swim 250 will be held on Saturday, June 10 as part of the Great North Swim, an open water swimming challenge.

Usually children need to be 12 years old to take part, but a new event this year means children aged eight and over can do a 250m open water swim with an adult.

The children’s parents, Liz and Joe Bayley and Sara Ridgway, will be taking part with them.

So far the children have raised £660 via their online fund-raising page