Ten-year-old organises swimathon to help Hornchurch church targeted by metal thieves

A caring ten-year-old has organised a swimathon to raise money to help to restore her church to its former glory after it was targeted last year by metal thieves.

Hannah Dunstan from Hornchurch is set to do a sponsored swim on Saturday February 4 at Hornchurch Sports Centre in aid of the organ and roof repair appeal at St Andrew’s Church, in High Street, Hornchurch.

Hannah’s mum, Karen Dunstan said: “I am really proud of her because she did it all on her own and I think it is fantastic that she is using something that she loves doing to help the church.”

Hannah, who has been swimming since she was five came up with the idea after she saw an interview with the Reverend Barry Hobson and the organist Andrew Losq on the BBC’s The One Show.

The youngster then got in contact with the manager of Hornchurch Sports Centre to organise the event and has managed to get a team of seven people involved in the fundraiser.


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The group are hoping to raise �1,000 for the grade one listed church.

Karen said: “I think seeing members of her own community on the TV really touched her and made her realise how serious a problem it was.”

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Last year the Recorder reported that the grade one listed building had been targeted ten times since the summer by metal thieves costing �150,000 worth of damage to the church’s roof and organ.

The church now need to raise �200,000 to repair the roof and the organ.

Karen said: “The metal thieves have had a big impact on the church and I think it will make a big difference to the worship if we could carry out the necessary repairs.”

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