The lightbulb moment for me came in Sept 2018 watching non-wetsuit swimmers cross the finish line at the Exmoor Open Water Swim. It was truly inspirational. Most were in their 50’s and all were on top form – buzzing with empowerment, strength, determination and happiness.
Speaking to these people I discovered many had suffered from depression or other mental illnesses and had turned to cold water swimming for salvation. There and then I had a goal: Make open water swimming available on the NHS to people suffering from anxiety and depression and other related illnesses.
Fast forward to now and, with the help of Dr. Mark Harper, Dr. Heather Massey, Dr. Amy Burlingham and many many others, we are a couple of steps closer to scientifically proving that there are benefits to cold water swimming. Perhaps even more importantly though we have been able to offer hundreds of people the opportunity to give it a go and we know from speaking to them that it has had a hugely positive impact on their lives.
I can’t tell you how excited I am that Chill is expanding to new locations across the UK with the aim of bringing cold water swimming to many many more of those who need it.