A BUSINESSMAN is supporting Weldmar ’s fundraising campaign after one challenge brought back fond memories of his father.

Mickey Jones, of DJ Property, on the Granby Industrial Estate, came forward to sponsor Brian Barnicoat, who is set to complete a free dive of up to 30 metres this month.

The challenge is part of the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust’s Go for Gold campaign, and was featured in the Dorset Echo in May.

Mr Jones, who took over the family business in 2003, said: “We were hoping to make a donation, because Weldmar is a good local charity, and when we heard about this it seemed ideal.

“My late father, David, who founded the business, was a very big sea diver. In fact, he represented Britain.”

Free diving involves diving with no breathing equipment.

Mr Jones said the sport emerged from spear fishing.

He added: “Spear fishing was huge in the 1960s and 70s and Weymouth and Portland was a hotbed of talent. My father represented the country, but so did a lot of others who lived around here.”

But the businessman never became a follower of the sport himself.

He said: “I learnt to swim really young, and got into that quite competitively.

“But it is a really compelling sport, and there was always fresh fish in our house when I was growing up.”

The Go for Gold campaign is coming to an end, but there is still time to get involved.

All money raised will help to support services offered by the charity.

Mr Barnicoat said: “It’s good that there are people willing to give to charity.

“I’m aware that at the moment, it’s a difficult time financially for a lot of people, so I really appreciate anyone who can help.”