A KIND-HEARTED teenager and his friends will make a splash as they swim 400 lengths to help support his brother who was diagnosed with arthritis aged just nine.

Alfie Adams, 13, and three of his friends will take on the charity swim to raise money for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS).

Alfie’s brother Austin, nine, was diagnosed with Juvenile arthritis this year.

In May the brave youngsters underwent a joint operation to try and help him live a normal life.

Arthritis is often associated with older people, but it can also affect children.

In the UK, about 15,000 children and young people are affected by arthritis.

It means Austin suffers pain in his joints.

Austin, who attends Harwich Community Primary School, said it’s “really generous and kind” of his brother and friends to be doing this.

He added: “They are like family to me and they come and see me very often.”

Mum Cheska Leslie, 38, of Main Road, Dovercourt said the four boys have been training for almost a year.

The group spend much of their spare time swimming ahead of the charity event.

She said: “I’m so proud and emotional for these four young men, it’s really inspiring they are doing this in aid of juvenile arthritis.

“They come running and make sure Austin is alright, they are young and caring boys.

“It’s hard and really emotional watching my son being in pain.

“It’s really heart-breaking to see him in so much pain and not be able to do anything.”

Luke Bird, Owen Georgeson and Sam Casper will join Alfie to swim in aid of NRAS.

The event will take place on Saturday, November 30 from 3pm at the Dovercourt Swimming Pool, in Wick Lane, Dovercourt.

The boys will be swimming 100 lengths each.

Luke is in year 11 while Owen and Alfie are in year 9 at the Harwich and Dovercourt High School.

Sam is a student at the Colchester Institute.

The overwhelmed mother wants to raise awareness of the illness.

Each year the #WearPurpleForJIA day is held in June.

Cheska is working hard to involve all schools to wear purple on June 5, next year.

To find out more about the charity work visit www.jia.org.uk.