A MUM from Cardigan has swum 22 miles - the equivalent of the English Channel – in a week to raise funds for Diabetes UK Cymru.

Penny Phillips, 36, took on the Swim22 challenge to test herself and raise awareness of the condition in support of a close friend who has Type 1 diabetes.

While swimmers could complete the 22 miles any time between February 22 and May 22, Penny covered the whole distance within just one week, starting on the Monday and completing it on Sunday.

She swam 3.14 miles a day at Cardigan pool – that’s 202 lengths each day – and has so far raised a fantastic £1,040.

“There were times when it was difficult but I got through it,” said Penny.

“The Saturday was a bit tough but on Sunday my husband swam the last three miles with me and I had friends and family supporting me in the gallery and that got me through.

“At the beginning of the week it was taking me two and a half hours but my last time was two hours seven minutes.”

Penny, who runs a landscaping business with her husband and is mum to Daisy-Belle, five, and River, two, started swimming last year as a way to get fit after she gave up smoking.

The only problem she encountered on her marathon swim was the temperature of the pool.

“The toddler pool was shut for repairs during the week I did my swim and so they had turned up the temperature in the main pool to 32 degrees,” she said.

“My feet were tingling I was so warm. It was certainly warmer than swimming the English Channel itself!.”

Penny had originally set a target of raising £325 and is delighted to have raised so much more.

“I have been blown away by how much support I have had and cannot thank people enough for getting behind me and helping to raise so much money. I am so grateful,” she added.

And Penny certainly has caught the long-distance swimming bug. Her sights are now set on a 5km open water swim to raise money for the Welsh Air Ambulance.

Joseph Cuff, fundraising manager for Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We are delighted that Penny is making a splash for Diabetes UK Cymru to support the thousands of people like her friend who have Type 1 diabetes.”