Bolton’s very own Dory will ‘just keep swimming’ in Loch Lomond this summer to raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity in memory of her late father.

Carol Lord, nicknamed Dory after the Finding Nemo character, will swim the 23-mile length of the Scottish lake in August.

The 53-year-old from Sharples is swimming in memory of her father Geoffrey Bowes who was a firefighter for 30 years before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Carol said: “I raise money every year for different charities but when I do big swims, I always do something personal.”

Geoffrey, who Carol describes as a ‘real gentlemen’, was a station officer at Bolton North Fire Station on Crompton Way and taught his daughter how to swim.

He tragically died in September 2011 while swimming in the sea on holiday in Turkey with his best friend and fellow firefighter, Ronnie Howarth.

Carol started competing in open water events two years after her father died.

She said: “I’ll think of my dad and the firefighters and hopefully that will spur me on and keep me going.”

As a pastoral manager at Tottington High School, mental health is an important issue for Carol and that’s why she’s supporting The Fire Fighters Charity.

Set up during the Second World War, the charity offers rehabilitation, recuperation and other support services for firefighters and their families.

Carol considers herself lucky as her father lived his final years out of the fire service, but recognises that PTSD, physical disabilities and bereavement affects so many families.

She said: “They see horrendous things like car crashes and they’re bringing it home with them.”

Although she chose the charity before the recent moorland fires started on Winter Hill, Carol hopes that these troubling events will encourage people to support firefighters by donating.

Carol has been training hard with a pool swim and a weights session each week as well as three weekly open water swims at Sale Water Park.

This weekend she’s taking part in the Big Welsh Swim in Snowdonia, followed by a two-way swim in Ullswater in the Lake District.

She’s also got an eight-hour swim in a pool to complete, but looks forward to being in the big outdoors on the day as motivation.

Carol said: “I just enjoy the scenery. It will be a lot warmer than it usually is in Scotland.”

To give her extra motivation, local firefighters are planning to get a pump down to Loch Lomond to cheer her on.

Carol raised £2,300 last year by swimming the English Channel as part of a relay team to raise money for Parkinson’s UK.

This year, she’s hoping to raise £2,500 in what she calls her ‘solo channel’.

She said: “I really want to try to smash this target.”

All money raised will go to the charity as Carol will be covering all her costs from training to travel.

These expenses include £1,600 for a boat which will guide and support her during the challenge.

The swim is expected to take 15 hours and Carol will start at 5am so that she’ll be done before dark.

She said: “It’s all about about perseverance and determination.”

The event takes place on August 11 and Carol will spend a well-deserved two-week holiday with her husband when she’s done.

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