Aylesbury's Doreen fulfils her dream with a special swim to mark her 80th birthday

Tina Fox-Pearson (activity coordinator at Lewin House), Doreen and Katie Ruseva (deputy nurse clinical lead at Lewin House)
Tina Fox-Pearson (activity coordinator at Lewin House), Doreen and Katie Ruseva (deputy nurse clinical lead at Lewin House)

Doreen Smith, a resident at Lewin House nursing home in Aylesbury, celebrated turning 80 by making waves at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.

This marked the first time she’d been in a pool for a whole decade.

Doreen was born unable to move from the waist down and has experienced several heart attacks and a stroke in her life. Her birthday dip was made possible thanks to the Wishes and Dreams initiative run by The Fremantle Trust.

The Wishes and Dreams programme was set up by the Trust to inspire and support people to realise their goals and live life as fully as possible.

When Doreen turned 70 she did a sponsored mile swim at Aquavale swimming pool in Aylesbury for the charity, Bega Kwa Bega, which raises funds to improve living conditions of villagers in Uganda. Doreen continues to actively support the charity, alongside members of her local church.

Commenting on her birthday swim, Doreen said: “When I’m swimming I feel a real sense of freedom - it’s as if I am weightless.The experience was amazing!”

In addition to the swim, Doreen will enjoy a special party at Lewin House to mark her birthday, which is being organised by her friends at the church.

Sue Faulkner, community and lifestyle manager at The Fremantle Trust, added: “Doreen is a much loved resident, so we were keen to mark her special birthday with a memorable experience. It was amazing to see her smile when she got back into the water for the first time in ten years. It lit up the whole stadium!”