A NURSE from Beith is taking on a daunting swimming challenge to raise funds for veterans’ support.

Janice Naven, a veteran’s wife and mental health nurse, vowed to swim 1km in 50 different Scottish lochs for Erskine Veterans.

Her husband, David Naven, served in the Royal Engineers for 23 years and, while living in Germany, Janice worked for SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) Forces Help as a community psychiatric nurse.

Janice said: “As I was approaching my 50th birthday in February, I set myself a personal challenge with the hope to raise awareness of mental health and the great work provided by Erskine.

“Being a novice open water swimmer, I set myself the challenge to swim 1km in 50 different Scottish lochs then lockdown happened.”

Janice amended her challenge to swimming for one hour in her garden pool complete with a tether devised by her husband.

Since lockdown has eased, however, Janice has jumped right back in, completing 1.5miles at Kilbirnie Loch.

Janice said the work done by Erskine is so important because it provides a community.

Janice said: “When you leave the military, you’re not just leaving your employment it’s a wider sense of family.

“It can feel very lonely. There is a high number of veterans who end up homeless, or suffer the impact of PTSD from recent conflicts.”

Janice has already completed 10 hours of swimming in her pool and hopes to swim 35 to 40km in open water around Scotland.

She said: “I want to try and do three lochs in a day - Loch Earn at 8am, Loch Lubnaig at 11am, and the down to Lomond in the afternoon.

“I want to make sure I can do it, I don’t want to let Erskine down.”

You can follow Janice’s progress and donate at give.everydayhero.com/uk/swimming-for-erskine-veterans