Swimming challenge in honour of son Jon-Jo

The mother of a teenager murdered in a Preston street has taken on a swimming challenge in his honour.

Friday, 8th April 2016, 1:25 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th April 2016, 8:16 am
Tracey Highton, who swam 100 lengths in honour of her son Jon-Jo, to raise money for Victim Support

Tracey Highton swam 100 lengths of a 25-metre pool, raising £1,120 for Victim Support.

The 43-year-old said she wanted to say thank you for the help she has been given since her son Jon-Jo’s death in 2014, and is now planning another event to raise money to help stop knife crime.

Tracey, who lives in Deepdale, said: “I’m all right while I’m doing something for Jon-Jo, because it’s keeping his name alive.

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Jon-Jo Highton with mum Tracey

“Swimming is my meditation, swimming has got me through this.

“My friends Collette Newsham and Tracy Eccleston came with me because I was very anxious, and they’ve been a support all the way through.

“I couldn’t have gone on my own. I’m lucky to have a lot of good friends.”

Tracey also said a member of staff at Virgin Active got into the pool and swam with her for moral support.

Jon-Jo Highton with mum Tracey

She said: “I thought it was so thoughtful and kind the encouragement they gave me at Virgin, as they knew why I was doing it.”

The money raised from the swim is to be donated to Victim Support, which Tracey described as “amazing”.

She said: “It’s like just reading a letter, I couldn’t take it in at the beginning.
“I haven’t accepted Jon-Jo has gone yet.

“If ever I’ve got an appointment and I don’t want to go on my own, Victim Support will come with me. She would come round and talk to me and make phone calls.

“This is my way of saying thank you to them.”

Jon-Jo would have turned 21 on September 15, and Tracey is organising a charity event on Saturday September 17, to celebrate Jon-Jo’s life.

She said it will include food and raffle prizes, hoped to be donated by local businesses, and will be held at the Wilbraham Club where Jon-Jo’s wake was held.

Tracey said: “Anyone is welcome, it’s going to be a celebration of his life and I’m going to raise money for knife crime, because I feel like there’s so much knife crime going on.”

Anyone who wants to donate to Victim Support can visit www.justgiving.com/Tracey-Highton.