Speedo celebrates New Year swimmers with £37,000 donation to Mental Health Swims

Helping to transform even more lives through outdoor swimming, as more people experience mental health issues due to Covid-19.

Speedo, the world’s leading swimwear brand, celebrated 2022 New Year swimming across the UK with a campaign that generated a donation of £37,000 to Mental Health Swims, a non-profit organisation run by a community of wild swimmers who use the power of cold water swimming to support mental wellbeing.

Speedo donated £10 to Mental Health Swims for every swim photo posted to social media with #NewYearSwimmers with Speedo Outsiders Club, an Instagram based community set up in response to the fast growing rates of outdoor swimming last year and community groups, being a hub for the campaign.

Thanks to more than 3,300 posts shared over five days, Speedo’s donation of £37,000 will enable Mental Health Swims to expand in 2022 and transform even more lives through the joy of outdoor swimming. The need for this support is even more prevalent as today we acknowledge Blue Monday 2022, a day which widely recognises the challenges mental health can have on our daily lives.

Mental Health Swims is a volunteer run community group founded by Rachel Ashe in 2019, after she joined hundreds of others in the cold water for Edinburgh’s annual Loony Dook on New Year’s Day. At the time, Rachel was struggling with her own mental health but the feeling that she got from the water convinced her not only to keep swimming herself but to start her own community swim group in Swansea. Since then, Mental Health Swims have expanded to over 80 locations across the UK with over 200 volunteer swim hosts. These swims are open to anyone, whether you have a diagnosed mental illness or are simply interested in joining a community of like-minded swimmers, who enjoy the well-being benefits of cold-water swimming. Mental Health Swims is also accessible by referalls and social prescribing in some areas. Find your local swim on the Mental Health Swims ‘Swim Map’.

Rachel Ashe, Founder of Mental Health Swims, said: “The support we have received from Speedo and the wider community of swimmers has been incredible and it’s been so much fun to see everyone getting involved. The donation from Speedo will be life changing for us and has made for a wonderful start to the year, we’re excited to see what this amazing donation can help us achieve in 2022.”

The donation will allow Mental Health Swims to invest in both e-learning and training platforms, to make training more accessible and flexible for new and existing volunteers and swim host captains, who head up the monthly swims across the country. Additionally, it will help them meet their ambition to double in size this year and to offer mental health peer support and share the power of outdoor swimming in even more locations across the UK.

Kirsty Saddler, VP Global Brand Marketing at Speedo said: “‘We are completely in awe of every single swimmer who took part in our post to donate initiative. Thanks to their support, we were able to make this fantastic donation to Mental Health Swims, a wonderful community of wild swimmers who play a very valuable role in addressing the mental health issues that so may people are now facing”.

Statistics show that swimming has significantly reduced the symptoms of anxiety or depression for 1.4 million adults in Britain.  Almost half a million British adults who struggle with their mental wellbeing say that swimming has reduced the number of visits they make to a medical professional regarding their mental health. We’re continuing our work with Mental Health Swims, so that we can help more people to enjoy the water and reap the benefits of cold-water swimming.”

To find out more, please visit: https://www.speedo.com/blog/new-years-swimmers/

To find your local Mental Health Swims community, please visit: https://www.mentalhealthswims.co.uk/swim-meet-locations/