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The Wild Swim Project - wild dipping on prescription

The Wild Swim Project.......it’s not just fun, it’s good for you…

Immersion in cold water gradually reduces stress levels in everyday life and generates a greater sense of wellbeing. It is well known for reducing feelings of anxiety and boosting the immune system of those who regularly swim or dip.  It also provides a fantastic way to immerse yourself with the local environment, be active in a non-competitive way and share the experience with other like-minded people.

There is so much more to wild swimming than actual swimming. It is wonderful to arrive at a beautiful place and then to gently wade into cool calm waters and see the world from a different perspective as you become part of the scenery.  Both dipping and swimming in nature makes you feel alive, it clears your head and makes you realise that if you can do this you can do other things. Once you are out of the water there is the feelings of euphoria and of community as you smile at your fellow dippers, share stories and agree to meet again same time next week. 

Participants benefit from improved confidence, body positivity, mental health, the learning and passing on of new skills, taking on new challenges, engaging with their local wild spaces and thereby creating emotional connections to it, meeting people from other walks of life and very importantly socialising as part of a wider community. 

What is the Wild Swim project

It is series of FREE wild swimming sessions designed for people who will gain from the mental and physical health benefits that immersing in cold water, within the natural environment, brings.  Over the course, we introduce the group to the benefits of swimming wild, give them the skills and knowledge to build confidence and encourage people to follow their own wild swimming journey. 

We are part of the following projects: 

 

  • Surrey Heartlands Green Prescribing project - supporting adults experiencing mild to moderate mental health challenges

  • University of Portsmouth OUTside 2 research into the link between cold water immersion and open water swimming

  • CYPS - Surrey - supporting young people experiencing various mental health challenges (3 year programme)

  • crowdfunded local community 

The evidence we collect supports what we see and experience:

•  At the end of the course, after the 4 weeks, the life satisfaction for our participants increased on average by 2.1 points.  

•  after the 4 weeks, participants reported an increase, on average, of 1.8 points in the level of how worthwhile things they do in live were. 

•  after the 4 weeks, the happiness level for our participants ‘yesterday’ increased on average by 0.6 points. 

•  85% reported being less anxious at the end of the course than at the start, 15% reported the same level of anxiety.

•  71% reported being more connected with nature at the end of the course than at the start

What people say about it…

  • I have been having the best nights sleep in weeks

  • It has given me a purpose and made me feel needed in this world.  All the bad thoughts trickled down my body into the water.  I could really let go.

  • The emphasis is on fun, inclusivity and learning.

  • It’s in a safe, beautiful environment.

  • I was nervous beforehand but I really felt cared for by Jude and Paul

  • it completely resets your mind and body, I almost like a feel like a new person every time

 

We are supported by the STA click here to read

The course is led by Jude Palmer and Paul Mackenzie, both Open Water Swimming Coaches, Open Water Lifeguards and First Aiders who are seasoned wild swimmers themselves. If you would like to know more please get in in touch. 

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