Lydia Chilvers set herself an ambitious, and not to mention bone-chilling, challenge earlier this year to go cold water swimming for 50 consecutive days to raise money for Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Swimming locally to where she lives, Lydia has dunked, dipped and plunged into waters in all weathers and has bravely swam snow or shine in freezing cold water temperatures as low as -0.2!
Lydia takes the plunge for Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Lydia explains, “the reason I chose to fundraise for Suffolk Wildlife Trust is because I wanted to give something back to the people who help look after the waters that I love swimming in so much and all that lives and grows there.”
Lydia has also been lucky enough to have some truly wild encounters whilst on her swims and has been joined on more than one occasion by an inquisitive seal. This wonderful moment and interaction between the two was caught on camera by her support crew from the side lines. We can’t tell who is more intrigued by who.
Mixed with both delight, and, naturally, a little fear, Lydia says this chance encounter swimming with seals was one of the best experiences of her life. And also a key reason and motivation behind her challenge. “I was also motivated by three seal encounters that I have had over the past month while swimming, twice in Oulton Broad and once in Beccles Quay where a seal came and swam alongside me!”
“This experience has brought me so much joy in that I've been able to raise money to give back to the local wildlife that I love so much. I love wild swimming because it completely submerges me with nature and during my 50 day challenge I have had so many amazing experiences, such as swimming with the seals and making friends with a pair of Egyptian geese who even joined me for my last swim. The cold weather was obviously a big challenge and some days the last thing I wanted to do was take my clothes off, but overcoming these challenges has shown me that my mind and body are capable of great things. I've had so much support throughout this journey and I'd like to thank everyone for their kindness and donations."
Initially setting out to raise an impressive £500, Lydia soon surpassed this and has so far raised an amazing £1,300. Furthermore, Lydia received an additional boost in hearing from Just Giving, the platform she is using to collect funds, who told her that she had been in the top 10% of fundraisers in 2021 so far.
Although Lydia has now completed her 50 day swimming challenge, she says “I'm not going to stop swimming anytime soon”.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust would like to say a huge thank you to Lydia for all amazing efforts and to everyone who has contributed to her fundraiser. There’s still time to donate towards Lydia’s cold water swimming challenge by visiting her page below.
If you have been inspired by Lydia and would like to fundraise for Suffolk Wildlife Trust then please contact us: email@example.com. Thank you!