A PHYSIOTHERAPIST is to mark her 50th birthday by leading a relay team to swim The Channel to raise funds for the 'safe house' set up in memory of Jane Clough who was murdered by her ex-partner,

Lynne Midwinter, who works at Physio and Therapies in Todmorden, decided she wanted to take on a big challenge to raise money for the charity SafeNet Domestic Abuse and Support Services.

It runs the Recovery Refuge offering safe and secure temporary accommodation for women and children at risk of domestic abuse, who have additional complex needs.

The special property was opened in June last year by John and Penny Clough from Barrowford whose 26-year-old daughter Jane was repeatedly stabbed by her ex-partner Jonathan Vass outside Blackpool Victoria Hospital as she arrived at work in 2010.

Ms Midwinter has formed a relay team and has dedicated herself to training for its 30miles swim to France.

She said: “I've really enjoyed the training. Swimming isn't something new to me but, before June, I'd never swum in open water and I've had a steep learning curve getting to know the vagaries of sea swimming – not to mention the temperatures!

“Every pound I raise will help Jane’s Place support women in dire straits and the children they are raising.”

The team will set off from Dover Marina on Saturday 22nd September, and are aiming to land in France between 18 and 24 hours later.

Jane's Place is run with the support of Burnley-based social housing provider The Calico Group.