Swimmers from Fordingbridge, Salisbury and the local area are swimming their way through the pandemic. The group has raised an incredible £1,440 for Mind, far exceeding expectations, thanks to the generosity of friends and family.

Because of lockdown closing swimming pools, Alice Aston started a group for wild swimmers within the Fordingbridge area to recommend local, safe and beautiful spots to swim outdoors with others. In June last year, Fordingbridge Area Wild Swimmers started to meet regularly for their daily swims and continued through the Winter. But the group expanded to include the Salisbury area to limit travelling by members outside of their area under the current restrictions.

“It’s a welcoming and friendly group and the swimmers have benefited from social interactions, meeting to swim and to form new friendships during these challenging times,” said Alice.

With the benefits of wild swimming, and in particularly cold-water swimming, receiving attention recently, especially in relation to mental health, one group member, Bev Deakin, decided to raise money for the mental health charity Mind.

Group members supporting Bev on her daily December swims and pledged money for their own swims. Member Wendy Lucas actually swam every day in December, after starting to swim on consecutive days in September.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/team/FWSG or find them on Facebook by searching for ‘Fordingbridge Area Wild Swimmers Club’.