A BRAVE young girl will be tackling her fears head on to raise money for a family friend living with motor neurone disease.

Imogen Stone, 11, has overcome her fear of water with 12 months’ worth of swimming lessons and will now be diving in at the deep end to complete a sponsored swim.

Imogen, of Silklake Mews, Portland, will be undertaking 25 lengths of Weymouth swimming pool in 45 minutes to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) which supports her family friend Gordon Lambert.

She said: “Six years ago Gordon was diagnosed with MND and they told him he only had 18 months to live but he’s still alive today. He used to play and run around with me when I was younger and I felt I had to do something for him, so I am doing a sponsored swim in support of the MND charity.”

Mr Lambert, 72, suffers from terminal MND, a progressive disease that attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, gradually stopping messages reaching the muscles and leading to weakness and wasting.

Off her own bat, Imogen reached out to the charity and pool to organise the event. She said: “A year ago I was really afraid of water and couldn’t swim at all so I decided to take lessons to get better and now I am on level seven out of ten.”

The St George’s Primary School pupil has been collecting sponsors and has so far raised £300 of her £500 target.

Mr Lambert said: “I couldn’t be more proud of her. At 11-years-old she has some nerve to do that. I wish I could be there to support here, but there will be a lot of people representing me.”

The MNDA is the only national charity focused on MND care, research, support and campaigning.

Mr Lambert added: “It will help raise awareness, when I was diagnosed my doctor didn’t even know about MND. The MNDA support the Joseph Weld Hospice and my care has been second to none. If I was a billionaire I couldn’t have paid for better.”

Imogen will swim a rotation of four different strokes from 3pm at Weymouth Swimming Pool on Saturday, May 6. To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/imys-swim.