Scott’s cold-water challenge- 70 swims over winter
Scott’s cold-water challenge- 70 swims over winter

Our grandson, Elijah, is now 8 years old and has scalp CMN. Ever since we learnt of the charity, we have been wanting to give back to thank them for their support towards families like ours. Over the years I have taken part in several challenges to raise money for Caring Matters Now. In 2016 I ran a leg of the Belfast marathon relay and the year before that, I took part in a challenge called the “Great Belfast beard off” where I wasn’t allowed to shave my beard for 4 months, alongside Elijah’s Dad. This time, I was ready for a new challenge!

In the last few years, I’ve got into cold water swimming, however keeping this going over winter is a real challenge. I decided to challenge myself to 70 cold-water swims over winter.

I took on this challenge alongside a friend who was fundraising for Combat Stress, a military charity as well as members of ‘Ballywalter Swimmers and Dippers’ who have been so supportive in joining me on my swims.

During the depths of the winter, the only thing that kept me going was the fact I had to get to 70 swims! My body was numb. The worst day was during December, we had a very cold spell, and the beaches and paths were frozen over like ice rinks. As I walked out of the sea the drops of water on my body froze. Swimming through all weather and at all times of day kept the challenge interesting, swimming at sunrise and at sunset rain or snow! The best day throughout the challenge was in October, there was a storm, and the waves were so high we were diving into them! Throughout the challenge we have also been joined by ‘Sammy’ the seal…one day there were 4 seals in the water with us!

Compared to my previous fundraisers, fundraising this time was slow, I can only conclude that this is due to the Cost-of-Living crisis. As long as I met my target of £250, I was happy, and the challenge was worth it! Knowing that I was able to raise vital funds for Caring Matters Now helped me to get out of my warm bed in the depths of winter and into the icy sea!

£250 could fund critical care support for a family whose child requires emergency treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital.