Money raised for NAWT Bedfordshire after icy plunge

On the 30th of December 2023, team members from the National Animal Welfare Trust in Bedfordshire, decided to take the plunge to raise vital funds for their centre.

Carley Farr, Shaun Butler, Rosie Burgess, Izzy Rowe, Sarah Fox, and Faye Devonshire, five of our employees and one volunteer, all jumped into an icy cold swimming pool during 8-degree weather. They were joined by 95 other supporters who also wanted to take part in the charity challenge.

Altogether they have managed to raise an incredible £2,139 which will help significantly after our centre was hit by a large water bill last year.

“As was reported in the press recently, NAWT Bedfordshire was hit with an unexpected £23,000 water bill due to an underground leak that we had no idea was there. Our usual bill is £500, so this was a shock.” Says Nicola Leach, our fundraising officer at NAWT Bedfordshire.

 “Our centre already relies on fundraising and support from the public to keep the centre running – vet bills can easily reach £4000 a month for example – so we’re really grateful to everyone for taking part and helping us raise such a fantastic amount”.

The event took place at The Woburn Lido, which is a charity itself, as they were extremely enthusiastic about charities supporting charities. We are extremely grateful to them for letting us hold the event there, as this would have meant they missed out on an afternoon of takings, so we cannot thank them enough.

Nicola also said, “The team from Woburn Lido, led by trustee Murray, were amazing for hosting the event. They also helped us to organise and promote it as it’s not something we have done before. Linzi the coach was fantastic in leading the sessions and everyone was very well looked after by Stan and Walter the lifeguards.

The event had a really nice atmosphere to it. For many people it was their first cold water swim, so it felt special to share this experience with them.”

The health benefits of cold-water swimming have been well documented, these include boosting your immune system, enhancing mental clarity and mood, reducing inflammation, and increasing circulation to name just a few. We would always recommend doing it under the guidance of a professional.

Carley Farr, our centre manager for NAWT Bedfordshire, who took part says, “It was definitely an experience! I’m so proud of the team for doing it. It was fun… but I don’t think I’m going to become a regular cold-water swimmer!”

We want to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to not only The Woburn Lido, but also Murray who organised the event. Linzi Hyde, who volunteered her time to coach the sessions, and Stan and Walter who were the lifeguards and made everyone tea and coffees! (Which the Lido also donated for free!).

Finally, we must say a massive thank you to the staff who took part, as well as the members of the public who came along and joined in. Thanks to you, we have managed to raise an amazing amount of money.

If you would like to organise your own fundraising event and raise money for our centre, you can find more information here:

There is still time to donate towards the event if you would like to show your support: