Writer and Folkestone mum-of-two, Jo Lamb, loves sea swimming. During winter 2020, she decided to take part in MAF’s ‘7&5 Challenge'– a fundraising campaign to commemorate MAF’s 75th year. £1,500 later, Jo is still going strong and invites fellow MAF supporters to take up a ‘7&5’ challenge of their own….
Jo Lamb’s final, freezing cold dip was supposed to be on 31 December 2020 – her 75th swim marking 75 incredible years of MAF’s life-transforming work.
When most participants would have happily welcomed the end of their tough challenge in extreme conditions, Jo just kept on going, raising over £1500 – more than double her original £750 target.
A keen sea swimmer - but novice to winter waters - Jo began her fundraising challenge in the English Channel on 1 November.
'We have all endured a very challenging year, and we need a bit of escapism from the uncertainty that lies ahead in 2021. So, I thought I would commit to swimming for MAF to help me through!'
Jo Lamb, writer and one of MAF’s ‘7&5’ fundraisers
Physical and mental benefits
In the grip of a pandemic with its consequential restrictions, lockdowns and home-schooling, Jo had had enough. In need of some form of escape, she decided to combine her love of swimming and support for MAF into a personal challenge she could be proud of.
Jo explains why she keeps on going:
‘We have all endured a very challenging year, and we need a bit of escapism from the uncertainty that lies ahead in 2021. So, I thought I would commit to swimming for MAF to help me through! Although I’ve officially completed my challenge, I have kept on swimming almost every day as it’s been so beneficial for my mental and physical health. I’m addicted now!’
Tough but satisfying
Jo admits that winter sea swimming hasn’t been easy:
‘It was tough and there were days when the sea was rough, and the weather was gloomy, and I didn’t fancy going in. But with the support of my family and other local sea swimmers, I am delighted that I pushed myself to complete more than 75 swims! The sunset on New Year’s Eve was breath-taking - a beautiful end to a difficult year.’
With warmer days ahead, Jo encourages others - lucky enough to live by the sea - to join her in her daily swimming challenge:
‘It’s a real boost to take a dip more than once a day. I feel so grateful to live by the stunning Kent coastline and I am so thankful to everyone who continues to sponsor me. As a busy working mum of two kids under five, swimming in the sea really lifts my mood. I would recommend it to anyone. Get out there and do something for you, for others and for MAF!’
Play your part
If you would like to support Jo and help her raise even more money for MAF as she continues to swim in 2021, check out her fundraising page.
Or why not take up your own personal ‘7&5’ challenge? Here’s how.
Jo’s efforts have been picked up by the media: