What a rollercoaster (well more of a water ride) of a month February was for Lanark’s very own Dippy Dippers. What started as a nugget of an idea to fundraise £500 for the core costs of Lanark’s much loved St Nicholas Playgroup and Toddlers, quickly became a fundraising challenge that captured the imagination of many.
The Dippy Dippers, wearing their now trademark ‘dipping hats’ (contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like one), committed to dip in open water every day in February, regardless of weather!
Dipping mainly in the Mouse Water in Lanark, with a few trips to other dipping sites in South Lanarkshire, they finished every week with a ‘themed dip’ at a loch near Carnwath, featuring rhythmic gymnastics, swim rings fashioned from Valentine’s balloons (gifted by Balloons By Laura), rabbit and chicken dress up and for their 28th daily dip - bikinis, frilly petticoats and shark fins!
Dipping daily in all conditions, they walked to the river in snow storms and often had to break the ice in the loch with a lump hammer in order to dip. Their commitment and determination knew no bounds!
Their regular videos of their dipping antics soon became a popular feature on social media, with many looking forward to their updates.
The Dippy Dippers even made it on to the telly! STV News did an outdoor location shoot of a Mouse Water dip and then BBC Breakfast picked up the story the following week with a live Dippy Dipper interview. All of which helped the DDs to raise an absolutely astounding £8750 for St Nicholas Playgroup & Toddlers. (It would normally take the group over two years to raise that amount.)
Purple Dippy Dipper Lynne, who is Manager of the Group is astounded by their fundraising success and is relieved that the future of the Group is now safe for the next few years.
But this challenge has been about so much more than just fundraising. As Blue Dippy Dipper Patricia testifies, “Being out in nature every single day and experiencing the joy that open water dipping brings, has had a hugely beneficial effect on both Lynne and I’s mental health. So much so that we are still dipping daily.”
Both Dippy Dippers would like to thank everyone who supported their Dip a Day in February Challenge and would encourage anyone thinking about open water dipping to give it a go! Please follow the advice of The Outdoor Swimming Society.
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