Ellen Brown has learnt her lesson after last year's Purley Swimathon left her totally exhausted.

This year the 79-year-old is training three times a week instead of going into Saturday's event totally unlimbered.

Mrs Brown, who lives in Purley, said: "I can't swim fast and I can only do one stroke and that's the breaststroke. Last year I said I wouldn't be doing it again but it's for a good cause and this time I've done it properly. Last time I didn't practise at all and I was exhausted."

Mrs Brown, swimming on behalf of Purley Diabetics, who meet once a month at Purley United Reformed Church Hall on Brighton Road, has been coping with diabetes for around 30 years.

She will join more than 30 teams and 300 participants at Purley Pool on Saturday and Tuesday to raise money for Purley Rotary Club and a variety of local charities. For more information contact Ken Trench on 0208 763 1011.