A team of four will be entering open water swims in memory of their close friend, Chris Buchanan. 

Karen Graham, from Helensburgh, will be joined by Gemma Dixon, from Hampshire, and Jonathan Haswell, from London, in the Great Scottish Swim in August. 

The fourth member of their team, Andy Parr, from Barnsley, has already taken part in the Great North Swim in Windermere earlier this year.

They are all raising money for MIND, the mental health charity, after losing their friend ten years ago. 

Karen said: “Chris was a beloved husband, father-to-be and a wonderful friend to all of us who the pleasure to know and work alongside him. 

“With the blessing of Chris' wife and his daughter, we are raising money for MIND, a charity that provides support, help and advice ensuring that no one should have to face a mental health problem alone.

“At Chris' funeral, the family collected for MIND which, at the time, was only one of a small number of mental health charities in existence.”

Karen, Gemma and Jonathan will all be swimming one mile in Loch Lomond. 

The Great Scottish Swim takes place on Saturday 26 August with distances of half a mile, a mile, two miles, 5K and 10K to suit all ages and abilities. 

Karen said: “I entered the Great Scottish Swim two years to raise money for dementia in support of my dad, who suffers from the illness. 

“He used to be a swimming teacher and he taught me how to swim. 

“After the first year, I was hooked and have entered every year since then.”

She added: “Open water swimming is new to the rest of the team but they've risen to the challenge and completely embraced it.”

Entering open water events as a group has meant that they can support each other throughout the training process.

Karen said: “We update each other on anything and everything, from tips on how to get in and out of a wetsuit, to just letting each other know how training is going. 

“Andy was messaging us saying he was more nervous about erecting the tent for the Great North Swim than the actual swim!

“It's been very helpful just sending each other messages to help motivate us for our training.” 

The biggest driving force to keep them on track has been the shared memories they have of Chris. 

Karen said: “We felt that a swim was such an appropriate tribute to Chris' love of the outdoors.

“He was such a keen swimmer and a canoeist; everyone said he was an adventurer.”

Support Team Buchanan's fundraising for MIND here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/TeamBuchanan

Entries for the Great Scottish Swim are now open. Enter at our website: http://www.greatrun.org/great-swim/great-scottish-swim