A CHRISTCHURCH woman celebrating her 94th birthday decided to overcome her 20-year fear of water at the same time.

Cynthia Mayhew, braved a visit to the local swimming pool recently after nearly drowning while on holiday in Spain two decades ago.

Having loved swimming all her life, Cynthia has been afraid of get in the water ever since.

But staff at Queensmead care home in Christchurch decided to lend a hand and have been working with her over the last year to build confidence around water and help her overcome her fear.

And last week, she told staff that she would like to try swimming again, so care team leader at Queensmead care home, Matt Howells, went with her to the swimming pool where she swam a few strokes.

Cynthia said: “I want to shout about my swim from the rooftops.

“When I got to the pool, I actually felt quite calm but I did need help as my swimming technique is a bit rusty now. I can’t wait to go to the pool again and I’d like to thank all the staff at Queensmead for helping me make my wish come true – especially Matt.”

Janine May, home manager at Care South’s Queensmead, said: “We are delighted that Cynthia is enjoying swimming again and thrilled with the progress she has made since she first moved to Queensmead. Cynthia’s fear of the water was very understandable considering her experience, but it is fantastic that she has managed to overcome it.”