A mother is taking the plunge into cold water to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance (GNAA) to thank them for saving her son at birth.

Allendale Brewery worker Claire Lee, 39, of Bellingham, is to take part in the Great North Swim in Windermere on June 11 and swim the 1 mile challenge for GNAA, to thank them for their quick response in helping her and her now three-year-old son,Reuben, who was breeched at birth.

Although it was a few years ago since that frightening day, Claire wants to do something for her son's saviours.

"I’m raising money for the GNAA because they came to my aid on the day of my son’s birth and the crew were absolutely incredible that day," Claire said.

"They were professional and efficient yet had bags of empathy and they were our family’s physical and emotional lifeline that day in many ways.

"On Reuben’s 1st birthday, they even posted on their website about him as a success story.

"As they helped me, I’ve been raising money for them under the radar ever since and I  saw this challenge as an opportunity to go larger and so we took it."

Claire will be one of seven members of the Northumberland Bluetits, a nod to the international Bluetits swimming movement, who will take part in challenge where each member is raising money for thier own charities.

"We are not going for a fast time just a completion and an enjoyable time.

"We will all have friends and family there cheering us on and some of our older kids are also joining us for the 250m swim.

"Alongside the GNAA we’re also raising funds for Cleft, WaterAid & Windermere Lake Recovery."

"I personally have been dipping in the streams/rivers near me regularly even in the snow, but haven’t managed much open water lake or distance swimming.

"I know I can swim a mile in a nicely heated indoor pool but best intentions aside the outdoor equivalent will be an interesting surprise for me on the day."