Leo, 6, makes a splash with swim for kids’ hospice

An inspirational six-year-old boy from Hucknall is to go that extra mile, literally, to help children who have life-limiting illnesses.

Caring Leo Burton, who lives with his mum, Nicola Francis, on Maori Avenue, is to make a splash this summer by completing a sponsored swim covering 64 lengths of the pool, which equates to a mile.

The aim is to raise up to £500 for the Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough, which gives care and support to youngsters and their families.

“I want to do it so that I can pass on the money before the children die,” said Leo. “Then Rainbows will be able to get what the children want.

“I love swimming. I have learned how to jump in the water, and now I am learning how to dive.”

The idea for the sponsored swim came from his mum, a carer with the Mansfield-based firm Respectful Care, when one of her clients told her how her grand-daughter had done one.

Nicola, 29, said: “Leo has been swimming for less than a year, but he adores it, so I thought I would seize the opportunity and ask him if he wanted to do something similar. He jumped at the chance.”

Leo, who goes to Holgate Primary School, has weekly lessons at Hucknall Leisure Centre, where he also swims for the Hucknall and Linby Dolphins club. His mum and her sister, Kirsty, 26, both keen swimmers as youngsters, take him to the Ken Martin pool at Bulwell too.

The date and venue for Leo’s swim have yet to be fixed, but he can be sponsored via his JustGiving page online.