Crisis, the national charity for people experiencing homelessness, is once again calling for hundreds of brave swimmers to take its Icebreaker Challenge in the chilly waters of Brockwell Lido to raise money for people experiencing homelessness.
The annual challenge will take place from 11am at the Lido on Saturday 2 December.
Participants can either join the event solo and swim a width of the pool, or team up with friends and race in the relay.
Registration costs £15 and all money raised will go towards Crisis’ mission to end homelessness in Great Britain.
The event comes after another year of rising homelessness in London and across the country – with more than 4,000 people forced to sleep rough between July and September this year in the capital.
Crisis’ Icebreaker challenge is vital in helping the charity raise awareness and support for people facing homelessness, both at Christmas and all year round.
The charity will provide hotel accommodation to around 600 people who would otherwise be sleeping rough this Christmas, as well as opening three day centres for hundreds of people stuck in insecure accommodation like as hostels and B&Bs.
Its services will offer warmth, companionship and vital support to people experiencing homelessness at one of the toughest times of year
Crisis says that the services and support it offers to the thousands of people at Christmas each can be the first step in helping them to build a life beyond homelessness.
Crisis’ Rob Halkyard said: “This year, many families and individuals across Britain will experience the worst forms of homelessness, including sleeping on the streets, spending night after night on friends’ and families’ sofas or being stuck in crowded B&Bs and hostels.
“Others will be worrying about how they’re going to pay their rent as rising financial pressures push more and more to the brink.
“But it doesn’t have to be this way. Crisis is there both at Christmas and all year round to support people across Britain to rebuild their lives away from homelessness, through helping people to find their own stable home as well as access education and training.
“Whether you decide to take the icy plunge alone or make a splash with your friends with our Icebreaker challenge, you can help someone begin their journey out of homelessness this winter.”
And there could be something in it for the swimmers as well. Crisis says evidence suggests cold water swimming can help with mental and physical health and that many people have found it can help their bodies to deal with stress, while endorphins leave them with a post-swim high.
Registration is also open for people who would prefer to organise their own cold-water challenge. Crisis is encouraging people to join the Do It Yourself (DIY) challenge and take the plunge however they like, wherever they are.
For more information and to register for a place, visit https://www.crisis.org.uk/get-involved/fundraise/crisis-icebreaker/
This year’s event is sponsored by retailer Bensons for Beds as part of its partnership with Crisis.