BEST friends Alex Lawman and Lauren Cliffe are closing in on their target of swimming 21 miles in 21 days for charity.

The Amersham Swimming Club members have set themselves the challenge of raising £2,500 for the Hand in Hand For Syria campaign by doing the equivilant of a cross-Channel swim in the pool.

They were inspired to get in the water after hearing about a 7-year-old boy from Reading called Joseph who was also swimming the channel in 105 days for the same charity.

All of the youngsters decided to help Syrian refugees after learning more about the conflict on the news.

Alex's mum Kate said: "She was very struck by what's happening in Syria. It's meant women and children are ending up as reugees having lost everything except the clothes they're standing in.

"It never occurred to her this can happen to ordinary people. Often kids are spoilt and materialistic and have no idea how lucky they are."

She added: "They're looking forward to the end. They're not physically exhausted, but they have such busy schedules it's hard fitting the extra swims in."

Alex, nine, and eight-year-old Lauren, both pupils at Heatherton House School in Amersham, have so far raised nearly £750 from their Just Giving page - with Joseph their first sponsor.

Earlier this year both girls were part of the Amersham Swimming Club group that each swam a mile for Great Ormond Street. Alex raising the highest amount of money, £400, and completed the challenge in 40 minutes.

They're due to complete their 21 mile swim on Tuesday December 4.

To sponsor the girls, go to