MALEY Abbott had a splashing 90th birthday as she celebrated by giving something back to those who have helped her.

Mrs Abbot, from Weymouth, took the plunge and did a sponsored swim to mark her big day.

She asked family and friends to sponsor her instead of buying her presents.

Mrs Abbott, who suffers from macular degeneration – a disease which affects the central vision – organised the fundraiser in aid of the local Macular Society support group, which has been a great help to her over the years.

Although Mrs Abbott can no longer drive she continues to run her own caravan hire business at Haven’s Weymouth Bay Holiday Park.

She swam 250m around the venue’s pool and looks set to raise £3,000.

Mrs Abbott said: “I’m so glad I’ve done it. I really enjoyed myself and I got so many messages of support, even one from the Prime Minister’s office.

“Although he didn’t sponsor me he did wish me luck and sent me some Downing Street pens to auction.”

She added: “When I was first diagnosed with macular degeneration I was quite frightened.

“I spoke to the helpline and they listened and helped me a lot.

“Then I heard they were starting a local group so I decided to go along.

“Hearing of other people’s troubles and how they coped really helped. I thought: ‘If they can do it, so can I.’ You talk to lots of people and pick up lots of useful tips.”

Mrs Abbott said she would like to thank Kathy King from the Macular Society for fundraising advice, manager of Weymouth Bay Holiday Park Darren Hollis, and sport and leisure manager Lyndon Conway for keeping an eye on her during the swim.