A MUM is gearing up to undertake her maddest challenge – a dip in the cold waters of the Thames on Sunday.
Collette Waterfield, 43, had to postpone an attempt last week because of the stormy weather, but hopes she can complete her fundraising effort this weekend.
Collette, of Mendip Crescent, Westcliff, is raising money for Southend Hospital in memory of her mum Brenda Willcocks, who died last year aged 65 of a chronic lung disease.
She said: “I’m doing this to kickstart my fundraising for Rochford ward. The staff cared for my mumwhen she was in and out of hospital.
“She passed away there in August last year and they were just brilliant with her.
“They also bent over backwards to to look after us all. My mum had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and she was so was well known in there because of the number of times she was in.
“But she also had mental health issues and they really cared for her both ways.”
Collette may be joined by her youngest daughter Ella Baptiste, 12, her mum’s cousin and two of her nieces.
Her eldest girl Lauryn, 15, will be supporting from the shore.
She said: “It will be freezing, but I’ll be in my bikini and intend to run in on Three Shells beach and stay for about ten seconds.
“My main fundraising will come from doing the London Marathon in April.”
The money raised will go towards wheelchairs, breathing equipment and nebulisers.
Collette, who is not a regular runner, faces a tough time with her marathon training after undergoing a hip operation to repair damaged cartilage late last year.
To sponsor Collette, who has already raised £220, visit justgiv ing.com/collette-waterfield