From wheelie bins, outdoor baths and paddling pools, to the North Sea and lakes, brave swimmers have been taking the plunge in icy waters to raise funds for a local breast cancer charity littlelifts.
The Big Dip Challenge, which ends on 1 February, has already raised a staggering £10,000 for vulnerable women with breast cancer in the region.
Littlelifts, which launched in 2017, provides complimentary littlelifts boxes to women facing chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment through the oncology and breast care teams at five hospital partnerships across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Each box is full of items to not only help alleviate some of the physical side effects that some may experience, but many of the items simply provide a dose of emotional support for women during their treatment.
We’re absolutely delighted to have witnessed camaraderie and such generous spirit this time of year and in the midst of a pandemic. We really have been blown away by the support and enthusiasm our wild swimmers have dedicated to this challenge. Their commitment to take on such a cold and unique challenge to raise funds to support women with breast cancer is inspirational.
Participants were invited to take a ‘Big Dip’ as a one-off or to swim weekly or daily. Kirsty Turner from Norfolk has already raised £1,500 for The Big Dip Challenge.
A year ago Kirsty was half way through her chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. She received a littlelifts box at the start of her treatment and wanted to say thank you by completing 15 sea swims which she has already done. In fact she's done 27 so far and has swum in rivers and even the kids pool in the back garden!
I get such a buzz out of the cold water, it's so intense, you're really 'in the moment' and I think of nothing else when I’m there, and the zing you get afterwards lasts all day. I get a great sense of personal achievement from doing something so seemingly nuts in inclement weather and dark seas (whilst being very careful).