Irish mental health charity Helplink kickstarted the Coldtober campaign, which saw over 490 swimmers take the plunge every day in October, raising over €129,000.
As the cold nights set in, there’s nothing nicer than retreating in front of a fire surrounded by warm blankets and tea.
But nearly 500 people across Ireland (and one in Australia!) sacrificed this luxury over October for an extremely worthy cause.
Launching the Coldtober campaign, Helplink set out to raise money by challenging people to go swimming every day throughout October.
Helplink – one of the leading mental health charities in Ireland
Knowing the importance of mental health for everyone, Helplink went on an ambitious mission in October by launching Coldtober.
Helplink are a mental health charity which provide accessible, free or low-cost mental health services, 7 days a week and out of hours.
They’re available locally, nationally, and internationally, making this charity an extremely important cause to help those across the county who make use of such services.
An ambitious campaign – a daily sea swim for the month of October
Helplink decided to launch a national fundraising campaign for October; thus, Coldtober was born. Participants across Ireland were challenged to go sea swimming in their local area every day of the month of October.
Each day, an incredible 490 participants took part in Coldtober all across Ireland, including a swimmer in Australia.
Through their efforts, these incredible swimmers have helped meet Helplink’s 2021 mission around; for children, young people and adults to achieve and maintain positive mental health.
Helplink go national with Coldtober – making a positive impact throughout Ireland
The Coldtober campaign sparked from last year, where students from NUI Galway completed a daily swim around Blackrock in aid of mental health services.
They raised over €15,000, and so this year, Helplink decided to go national with Coldtober, meaning anyone all across Ireland could take part.
This year, the Coldtober swimmers braved the cold and helped to raise over €129,000 for Helplink.
Founder & CEO of Helplink Mental Health Lochlann Scott was delighted with the efforts from the nearly 500 participants. She said, “When we launched Coldtober this year we were hoping for around 100 people to take up the challenge.
“Never in our wildest dreams did we expect nearly 500 people from across 21 counties to take up the challenge! People’s generosity is just amazing.”
More than just a bit chilly – the benefits of Coldtober for swimmers
Coldtober 2021 Brand Ambassador Dr Easkey Britton explained why Helpline launching Coldtober could see benefits stretching far and wide. As it turns out, wild sea swimming is a great way to look after your own mental health.
He stated, “The multi-sensory nature of water stimulates all our senses, bringing us back into our bodies instead of feeling stuck in our heads.
“That’s one of the reasons why it feels so freeing and energising, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.”
This incredible campaign shows to be the gift that keeps on giving. Helplink has recently employed four new counsellors since launching Coldtober.
They will continue to provide updates on new services throughout 2021 and 2022.