A Reading mum is set to swim the equivalent of the English Channel and back to raise money for a dear friend who is suffering from cancer.

Over a period of three months, NHS worker Tash Young will do a sponsored swim the equivalent of the length of the Channel and back – an astonishing 44 miles - at Palmer Park Leisure Centre.

This adds up to a gruelling 2,704 lengths of the centre’s 25-metre pool.

Tash is the mum of three young boys. She was blindsided to learn that her friend Sarah Brown had been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, aged just 37.

Sarah is a much-loved reception teacher at Earley St Peter Primary School.

Tash explains her reasons for undertaking the swim. “I am naturally a quiet person, not someone who likes to be front and centre, but this story got to me in a way that nothing else has before.

“Sarah is in her thirties, as am I, and we have children of the same age. With a roll of a die, her situation could be my situation.

“I am not in the position to donate lots of money personally however I can donate the small amount of time I do have to help raise money - money that will make a massive difference to Sarah and her family.

“It will go towards paying for complementary treatments, to go alongside the treatment Sarah is already receiving from our wonderful NHS.

This could be the difference between her being here for months or years with her beautiful family.”

Sarah and her husband Joff have two young boys – Gabriel aged 7 and Arthur aged 5.

She said: “My family and I are completely overwhelmed by Tash’s incredible offer to raise money for my treatment.

“The challenge she has set herself is a massive one and I couldn’t be more humbled and grateful by her selflessness to put her body and mind through the mill for me.

“Metastatic cancer is a terrifying diagnosis, but our resolve has always been to do all we can to fight it.

“Fundraising events like Tash’s will raise money to help me explore all avenues of treatment, to hopefully keep me with my boys for as long as possible.”

Palmer Park Leisure Centre is managed by social enterprise GLL under the ‘Better’ brand.

The centre’s General Manager, Rob Ansell, has offered Tash free membership to allow her to complete her challenge at no cost.

He said: “The team at Palmer Park are very sorry to hear about the sad and challenging circumstances that Sarah finds herself in and we greatly admire Tash’s gesture to help raise funds for her friend.

“Offering her the opportunity to use our pool is the least that we can do. We applaud the feat she will be undertaking and will be doing what we can to help raise awareness and assist with the fundraising effort.”

To make a donation, visit the Go Fund Me page