A Watford woman will swim across Loch Ness this week in honour of her 12-year-old nephew who she lost to suicide.

Helen Smith is set to tackle one of Scotland's most notorious solo swim challenges, which could take around 16 hours cover 22 miles.

The 55-year-old previously swam Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston lakes in Cumbria over three days, a distance of 24 miles, alongside her sister.  

She is fundraising for suicide charity Papyrus after losing her nephew Charlie in 2010, two months after her sister, Heather, died of a heart attack.

Her swim will coincide with one of the biggest hunts for the Loch Ness Monster in over 50 years, with Nessie fans travelling from across the world to the loch.

Watford Observer:

Helen said: “I’ll certainly have an audience and, monsters aside, there’ll be some very real things for me to worry about such as the water temperature which is particularly cold at night-time.

“Loch Ness is listed among the very tough marathon swims and certainly one which isn’t to be taken lightly.”

She previously swam the English Channel, with her sister Hayley Brant, who will be part of Helen’s support team for this swim.

The sisters have raised money for both Papyrus and the British Heart Foundation as they “hope to create a legacy for them and raise money for others”.

The mother-of-two will be in Scotland from Sunday, August 27, to Saturday, September 2, with hopes that the weather conditions will be ideal to do the 22-mile swim.

She said: “Loch Ness will certainly push my limits but I’m really looking forward to it.”

Papyrus is a charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide and break the stigma of talking about the subject.

It also provides training to help others learn how to cope with someone who has suicidal thoughts. 

To find out more about the charity go to its website: www.papyrus-uk.org/.