THE best friend of a Millie Crouch, a schoolgirl who died in a car accident last year, has raised more than £2,000 for a memorial bench at their school and won an award for her efforts.

Twelve-year-old Millie was killed in October last year while being driven by her half brother, Jackson Watters, who also died when they were involved in a head-on collision on the A36 near Steeple Langford.

Tegan Gibson, 14, from Warminster, took on the challenge of swimming the distance from Warminster to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and back, totting up 156 miles and raising £2,220 for Millie’s memorial bench which will be placed at Kingdown School, where Tegan and Millie went together.

Starting on January 16, Tegan has swam two miles every day until reaching her goal distance.

She was then recognised at the prestigious Swim England National Awards 2017 for her achievements in swimming over the past 12 months and was presented with an award in the youth participant category at the award ceremony on November 11 at Birmingham University’s Great Hall.

Tegan said: “I decided to do the sponsored swim in memory of my friend and her brother who died in a car accident. My family and I come from Wales and love the rugby, so I thought I’d swim to Principality Stadium and back.

“The hardest thing was getting up in the morning at six o’clock. My final session I swam two miles and Paralympian Steph Millward came down to swim the final leg with me.”

The award was presented by former Olympic diver and commentator Leon Taylor, and current Olympic swimmer Ellie Faulkner.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England CEO, said: “We have so many inspirational people involved at all levels of our sport and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate them.

“The day is also about thanking those behind the scenes who continue to encourage us to do our best, particularly our family and friends, and I am thrilled that so many people were able to join us in Birmingham.

“On behalf of all everyone involved with swimming, I would like to congratulate Tegan and all our finalists for their achievements.”

Millie’s memorial bench will soon be in place at the school.