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Framlingham boy takes on charity swim challenge in memory of uncle

PUBLISHED: 14:16 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:34 20 May 2019

All the money raised by Thomas Underwood is going towards Meningitis Now Picture: KELLY GOODY

All the money raised by Thomas Underwood is going towards Meningitis Now Picture: KELLY GOODY

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A Suffolk boy has raised hundreds of pounds for charity in memory of his uncle who died from meningitis.

Martyn (right) died at the age of 15 months Picture: KELLY GOODYMartyn (right) died at the age of 15 months Picture: KELLY GOODY

Six-year-old Thomas Underwood, from Framlingham, swam 60 lengths, around 1500m, in just 78 minutes to raise £200 for the charity Meningitis now.

He swam the distance in memory of his mum Kelly Goody's brother Martyn who died of meningitis 30 years ago, aged just 15 months old.

"I'm so proud of Thomas," she said. "I swam along with him and at the half way mark I went to give him a congratulations hug and he said: "no mummy, I've not finished yet!

"A few people who were swimming in the lane asked what he was doing and they were all very impressed with his efforts," said Ms Goody.

Thomas Underwood swam 60 lengths for charity Picture: KELLY GOODYThomas Underwood swam 60 lengths for charity Picture: KELLY GOODY

"I don't think he quite understands what a great thing he has done but we did talk in the car, coming home from the pool about how the money will help people who have lost a brother or sister to meningitis and how money can help their families that are now sad."

Thomas was the first child in the country to take part in the new fundraising event called Splash Now.

Splash Now is a new initiative being run by Meningitis Now, it has seen the charity is joining forces with the Swim Teachers Association to ask supporters to swim, kick, jump or paddle to raise money that will help raise awareness and provide funds for those living with the impact of meningitis.

"I hope that the new Splash Now events are a success," said Ms Goody, "and that Thomas has done the charity proud as their first swimmer.

"He has certainly done us proud".

Meningitis Now's Community Fundraising Assistant Kat Hollywell said: "Swimming is such a popular way for babies, toddlers and children to have fun, keep fit, and cool down all at the same time, so we thought it would be a great way to also help raise funds," she said.

"It's simple and it's enjoyable and it's open for everyone - whatever their age or ability."

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