A Keighley man will carry out four one-mile outdoor swims this summer to help premature and sick babies.

Stuart Ash, 38, has personal experience of the need to support the cause. He and his wife, Catherine, had two of their own three children born prematurely.

Their eldest child was not premature, but was seriously dehydrated when she was born and was on a drip for a week.

Mr Ash, a police officer, will be sponsored to raise cash for a charity called Bliss, which helps provide care and support for all premature and sick babies and their families.

He will take part in the Great North Swim at Windermere, the Great North Swim at the Salford Quays, the Epic Event on Ullswater and the Great London Swim on the Thames.

Mr Ash, who has previously raised hundreds of pounds through swimming for Bliss, said he took up this pursuit five years ago to get himself fit after quitting smoking.

“The cold is the hardest thing – you never get used to that,” he said. “And Windermere is so big it has its own currents, so it’s a bit like swimming in the sea.”

Visit to sponsor Mr Ash online.