A COURAGEOUS 72-year-old swimmer whose two daughters have M.S made a big splash for charity after raising funds for a centre which has helped one of them.

Senior citizen Bill McInnes decided to swim 100 lengths of Largs swimming pool for the Douglas Grant rehabilitation facility at Ayrshire Central Hospital.

Fay has had multiple sclerosis for many years, and is in a secondary progressive phase, meaning that she always requires a walking frame and power scooter to get around.

Fay, 48, of Glen Avenue, said: "I am very proud of my father.

"He's never done anything like this before, and it is quite a different thing for him to do.

"I am delighted with what he has achieved, and he has raised a lot of money for the centre.

"After the big swim, I took him to Wetherspoons for a full breakfast - it was well deserved!

"I moved back to Scotland two years ago struggling with my symptoms from multiple sclerosis and the Douglas Grant rehabilitation centre has given me fantastic support and help to maintain my mobility at the best level I can.

"They offer facilities that I have not experienced anywhere else in the country and I have lived all over.

"I have received equipment such as a power chair and electric foot stimulator, along with sessions with an occupational therapist and many meetings with the physio department including doing a couple of research trials.

"My dad has been super impressed with the service at the centre and is raising money to contribute to their work."

Bill, 72, who lives in The Rise, says he likes a fitness challenge and was happy to take the plunge for a cause close to his heart.

He told the News: "It was something that I wanted to do, so I decided to do my own swim.

"The people at the Douglas Grant rehabilitation centre are brilliant.

"I had great support from my friend Brian McNeil who was my coach - he advised me to do the swim at around 7am when the pool was quiet, and I managed to complete the challenge in 77 minutes, with Brian supporting me from the sidelines."

So far, Bill has raised nearly £2,600 for rehabilitation centre.

He said: "I did the breast stroke and built it up each week from 60 to 70 to 80 and then to 90 lengths.

"It's great to have done the 100 lengths, which equates to two and a half kilometres.

Bill is a retried industrial engineer, and lives in The Rise in Largs.

He has thanked his friend Brian for his support with the pool challenge.

Bill said: "Brian was very much my mentor and supporting me from the sidelines.

"He is very professional and knows his sport, and gave me a very thorough summary of how to prepare."

Fay's older sister Anne, who lives in Bournemouth, also has M.S, at relapsed remitting stage, and works in a bank.

The family were joined by Brian and his wife Margaret for the celebration breakfast at the Paddle Steamer following the big swim.

All monies raised went to the Ayrshire and Arran Health Board Endowment Fund because of the support Douglas Grant Rehab gives MS.

To sponsor Bill, head to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/douglasgrant4ms