Final icy dips for brave fundraising swimmers

This year’s January Daily Dip has come to an end and brave swimmers from the Upper Calder Valley have been taking to icy waters.

By Abigail Kellett
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 9:00 am
Swimmers at Gaddings Dam.
Swimmers at Gaddings Dam.

The annual month-long event is to raise funds and awareness for Crisis UK. So far this year £20,000 has been raised for the charity.

January Daily Dip founder Jamima Latimer, from Todmorden, said: “It’s very fitting, but also sadly poignant, that we are raising awareness of homelessness in this way.

“In England alone, more than 200,000 households are facing the worst forms of homelessness. Many of them are living on the streets or in cold and damp temporary or insecure accommodation.

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“We see the January Daily Dip as a daily vigil into the cold - something to remind ourselves, and others, that no-one should be homeless in the UK in 2022.”

This is the fifth year of the January Daily Dip which, before this year, has raised a total of nearly £80,000.

Ceiwen Paynton, from Hebden Bridge, said: “The Daily Dips have been a weird mixture of doing something for other people but also getting so much back.

“I’ve made new friends, strengthened friendships I already had and challenged myself. I’ve laughed so much this month, even if lots of it was hysterical! It has been hard, forcing yourself to go out in the cold and dark because you’ve promised to, but it’s also been grounding.

“That couple of minutes once the cold has taken your breath away when everything stops is like nothing else, it’s precious and allows you to think about why we do it. When do you get the chance to stop and be totally in the moment like that? What do I think about? I think about how we are all a couple of months away from homelessness. For my dad, it was a marriage breakdown that led to a period sleeping in the car or on sofas.

“For other people it’s fleeing a bad home life, or a landlord taking their home away or losing a job.”