A woman from Swindon has taken to the sea to play her part in raising £288,000 for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Alison Button, a 58-year-old administrator, participated in the 2024 Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim on June 29.

She joined 1,200 others in covering a distance of 1.4 miles between Boscombe and Bournemouth Pier as they took part in one of Europe's largest open water swimming events.

The event comprises a swim parallel to the shore between Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers, with swimmers having a maximum of two hours to complete the challenge.

Alison Button with her partnerAlison Button with her partner (Image: BHF)

The money raised will support the BHF and its funding of research into new cures and treatments for heart and circulatory diseases.

Ms Button completed the challenge alongside her partner after having an operation to remove breast cancer.

Encouraging more people to take part, she said everyone should "just go for it".

She said: "Taking part in the 2024 Bournemouth Pier to Pier for the BHF was such a huge challenge and an incredible experience. The atmosphere was so much fun.

"Being surrounded by people all swimming for the same cause was amazing, and everyone was so encouraging, it made me even more determined to power on to the finish."

She added: "The research that the BHF does makes such a difference to the 7.6 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases, so I’m proud to know I’m doing as much as I can to support their amazing work to help fund the next big scientific breakthrough."

Since its inception in 1992, the pier to pier swim, organised by the BHF, has welcomed more than 34,000 participants, and, now in its 33rd year, has raised about £4 million toward research for heart and circulatory conditions,

Kate Sparks, senior events manager at the BHF, said: "It’s fantastic to see Alison’s passion and determination in helping us fund lifesaving research.

"Without the support of people like Alison, we wouldn’t be able to help revolutionise treatments and transform the lives of millions of people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK.

“For those who are feeling inspired, entries are now open for next year’s Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim, so we’d urge everyone to take the plunge now to help us fund vital research to save and improve more lives.”  

Sponsorship came from JAZZ Apples, who positioned a giant apple buoy on Bournemouth beach.