Dip a Day continues

21st February, 2017

OSS swimmers pick up fund-raising challenge

Swimmers from across the OSS community are continuing Ella Foote’s challenge to Dip a Day, raising money and awareness for homeless charities.

OSS member Ella started her Dip a Day challenge back in December. “I wanted to do something which challenged me and also helped others at what is a difficult time of year for many,” says Ella. “I was overwhelmed by the support that was shown by friends, family and the swimming community – both with donations and with swimming support. The fact that even today, in late February, the swimming community continues to support the quest by volunteering to take on daily dipping is really quite something.”

Oxford based swimmer Helen Edwards was quick to volunteer to swim through January, which was a cold month with long spells of frostbiting nights significantly reducing water temperatures. January began with joining the Lyme Lunge on New Year’s Day and ended in the River Thames at Iffley Lock, having visited Durdle Door, Stainforth Force – River Ribble and River Lune as well as various places along the River Thames and Cherwell.

“The most incredible thing about swimming every day throughout January is that I can really say I have had a wonderful winter,” says Helen. “Being immersed in the water, feeling every sinew of my body taking in the atmosphere of the water and feeling the stimulation of the cold to this strange river mammal creature that you are with your head just above the water has enlivened all my instincts.”

“To feel, smell, taste, see and hear all of nature through the apparent dormancy of January has kept me connected and open to nature”


“Making the time every day to return to the level of the land to sense the world from the surface of the water, to feel, smell, taste, see and hear all of nature through the apparent dormancy of January has kept me connected and open to nature and to my world. I have always felt a pressing awareness of the weather, the water levels, the sky, the animals, the sun and the moon. Especially precious to me has been the time spent with the tree roots where they meet the water from the river bank, smelling, sensing, feeling the world from the perspective of the tree roots has brought such peacefulness that stays throughout my days.”

Daily dipping has been so beneficial that Helen has continued to swim everyday in the river or sea since Winter Solstice. “I sense my body now experiencing a deeper knowing spring equinox is on its way.” She has also raised a brilliant £3,400 for Oxford Homeless Pathways. “People initially seem to think swimming in over the winter is colder than having to sleep out rough. When people hear about homelessness it is not the life threatening impact of the cold that immediately comes to mind. Dip a Day helps people to think beyond their initial judgements, to consider the impact of the cold and the real situation people are facing,” adds Helen.

OSS Thames swimmer Jeremy Wellingham has picked up daily dips in February and is continuing to raise money for Oxford homelessness. Bucks swimmer Emma Gibbard is picking up the flow in March and will raise money for Crisis.

Not surprisingly August has already been claimed, but there are many more months to fill. Do you fancy the challenge? The spirit of the swimming is the main rule, enjoy the water and what you can get from it everyday. Dipping daily doesn’t have to be about charity challenges, Exeter based swimmer Joh Sidington took on the challenge as a personal experience. “C is for: Cracking swim, Chilly wind and Cold water tan,” says Joh. Most of Joh’s swims were with Devon based swimmers who were more than happy to jump in with her.

Fancy picking a month and giving it a go. Keep in touch and claim a month. “The hardest thing is the logistics of juggling work, life and swimming,” says Ella. “But it is surprising how quickly you find time that was otherwise wasted when you put your mind to it – anything is possible and the rewards are huge!”

If you want to pick and month let us know your plans and email: noticeboard@outdoorswimmingsociety.com

You can follow Helen Edwards on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/artallotment/