Former professional dancer, Mavis Richardson is getting ready for the challenge of a lifetime to support a local dementia charity.
'Magic Mavis', as she is known to her friends, is planning to celebrate her 83rd birthday in May by swimming the equivalent of her years in lengths at her local pool.
She aims to raise at least £1,000 for Dementia Friendly Keighley, a group that support people with dementia and their carers and is working for Dementia Friendly Town status.
Her challenge is made all the more tougher because Mavis lives with constant back pain and numbness in her feet due to a fracture to her back five years ago. It means she has to use a walking frame to get around.
Despite this, Mavis, who lives at Incommunities’ Farish House, loves swimming and has raised thousands of pounds for different causes. This includes four years ago, swimming to raise funds for the Sue Ryder Manorlands hospice, when she was a mere slip of a 79 year old!
She also helps organise social events and music shows to bring residents at her sheltered scheme together.
Mavis has kept fit since childhood, becoming a professional dancer at 18 and then a dance teacher. Her career took a new direction when she trained to be a Lay Reader and work for the church in Sheffield.
Mavis will tackle her swim challenge at Keighley Leisure Centre pool over three days, starting on Monday, 14th May with staff kindly giving her free admission.
She said: "I can’t wait to take on my swim challenge and raise as much money as possible towards helping people with dementia. With the kind support of family and friends I’m determined to reach my target."
Sinade Galindo, Scheme Coordinator at Farish House said: "Everyone is right behind Mavis and residents have been busy getting the fundraising off to a great start.
"She is a real inspiration and is always busy running events for charity and spending time with people with dementia. Many of us will be there to cheer Mavis on in May."
Maggie Marsden from Dementia Friendly Keighley said "Approaching 83 years old, Mavis’s 'magic' is just getting stronger and we’re sure her story will influence people to sponsor her in their droves.
"We at Dementia Friendly Keighley are in awe of this truly inspiring lady and look forward to supporting her on the swim in May."
You can show your support online for Mavis at www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ianbraithwaite1