An Auchinleck woman has completed a swimming challenge equivalent to the length of the English Channel for a charity close to her heart.

Dorothy Smith took on the 22-mile swim in support of Diabetes UK at her local pool in Auchinleck Leisure Centre.

Previously a swimming teacher for a period in Bearsden, Dorothy started the challenge in March and started chipping away at the distance by taking on a few swims per week.

The total of Dorothy's challenge adds up to over 1,700 lengths of the Auchinleck pool - although there were some lenghts of New Cumnock's outdoor pool thrown in to make up the numbers.

Cumnock Chronicle: Dorothy at New CumnockDorothy at New Cumnock (Image: Dorothy Smith)

The 72-year-old was keen to take on the challenge to highlight the impact diabetes can have on people, after her husband was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes- as well as bringing some attention to the leisure centre, as its future is uncertain.

Dorothy said: "I wanted to do something like for a great cause and to bring some positivity to this pool as well.

"I know people with diabetes and I've seen the effect it can have. This challenge will hopefully do some good for them.

"My husband was diagnosed recently with type 2 diabetes and his daughter-in-law's father, who also was diabetic, recently passed away. It's a life-limiting, cruel illness.

"Swimming is a great exercise and the challenge was great because there were people swimming in the pool who were always giving me some encouragement.

"The staff at the pool were great as well, because there were times when I was the only one left in the pool and I would make sure it was okay with them I kept going, and they were also happy for me to keep going."

Being an adopted Auchinleck native, Dorothy has taken kindly to the local centre's pool facilities.

However, the pool's future depends on the results of a leisure facility review for East Ayrshire, due to be published in the summer.

READ MORE: Centre's future 'hangs on results of leisure facility review'

Dorothy believes it would be a shame if the pool were to eventually close.

She added: "It's a great facility used by a lot of people still.

"The staff are great and always extremely friendly. I had chats with people in the pool about the future of the centre and everyone seemed to think it would be sad to see it close, if that was to happen".

Support Dorothy's fundraising efforts, which have already surpassed the initial target set of £220, by going to: