Take the plunge for homeless


Now in its 50th year, national homelessness charity Crisis is calling on hundreds of brave swimmers to take a winter dip in the icy waters of London’s lidos and raise money to help people experiencing homelessness cross the capital

Funds raised will go towards the charity’s year-round services and to Crisis at Christmas – a special annual service which runs from December 22-29.

As well as warmth, companionship and hot meals, guests at Crisis at Christmas will receive healthcare and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits in centres across London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Coventry and Edinburgh.

And South London participants in the annual Midwinter Swim series can choose between two of the capital’s finest outdoor swimming venues, each offering a unique experience.

At Brockwell Lido on Saturday, December 9 at 11am, hundreds of fancy dress-clad swimmers can take part in a solo splash or a team relay at this beautiful Art Deco lido.

And at Tooting Bec Lido on Saturday, January 10 at 11am, participants can swim a width solo or take part in a relay race with three friends.

Laura Harris swims for Crisis during the annual Mid Winter Swim at Tooting Bec Lido, South London

Parliament Hill Lido in Hampstead Heath will also be taking part, with an event on Saturday, November 25 at 11am.

The events will follow another year of rising homelessness in London. There were more than 2,600 rough sleepers on the streets of London between July and September this year alone, and the charity’s research shows that the problem is likely to get worse if nothing is done to address the crisis.

Participants will be raising money for the cost of reserving a place for a homeless person at Crisis at Christmas and supporting Crisis’ year-round services to help thousands of people out of homelessness.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “With homelessness in the capital continuing to rise, the dedication and support of Londoners is needed now more than ever to help end this crisis once and for all.

“No one should face homelessness any time of year, but winter can be the hardest time as temperatures drop and people face sleeping alone on the streets. As our charity turns 50, we will work harder than ever to make homelessness a thing of the past. By taking part in the Crisis Midwinter Swim, Londoners can help us bring people who are experiencing homelessness in from the cold and support Crisis’ year-round services, which help people leave homelessness behind for good.”

All participants will receive a Crisis swimming cap for the occasion and be able to enjoy a warming drink after their icy dip.

To register for your place, visit www.crisis.org.uk/swim

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