Cardigan veteran completes three months of icy dips to raise over £4,000 for homelessness charity Crisis
ICE, snow and rain: Bryan Larkin from Cardigan has swum through it all over the last three months, and all to raise over £4,000 to help people without a home.
A former mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Bryan took daily dips in December, January and February as part of homelessness charity Crisis’s Icebreaker challenge.
Shunning a wet-suit and smashing his £1,000 target, the 29 year-old has swum in the sea, rivers and waterfalls, as well as plunged into icy water buts and showered himself with cold hosepipes.
“The most challenging moments have to have been when the days were below 0°C with added wind chill and it was snowing or hailing. It meant you were cold before getting in and then even more so getting out and trying to get changed to try to warm up, while your body temperature continues to drop,” said Bryan.
Knowing that my daily efforts have inspired others to donate and take part, to raise crucial funds for homelessness and seeing where that money goes, has really kept me focused and motivated.”
Bryan said hot homemade soups have kept him going through the bad weather, along with friends and family. They also helped him with his video finale, ‘showering’ him with icy hoses, buckets, glasses and balloons of water from around the country.
After leaving the army, Bryan experienced mental health issues and a school friend who has been homeless recommended the Wim Hof Method to him. Named after the Dutch extreme athlete, it combines exposing oneself to cold temperatures with breathing techniques to improve overall wellbeing. Through researching cold water swimming, Bryan then came full circle when he discovered the Crisis Icebreaker.
He relished the opportunity to combine what he had learned with an issue he cares passionately about.
“Seeing my friend getting back on his feet is a big driver for me, even though he’s still struggling big time. It just baffles my mind that people have to live outside,” said Bryan.
Crisis provides year-round support to people without a home, whether they are sleeping rough, in cars, sheds, sofa surfing or in temporary accommodation. Through its eleven Skylight Centres across Great Britain, it provides employment, well-being and housing support to help people end their homelessness for good.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Bryan for his truly epic efforts over the last three months. The money he has raised throughout the bitterly cold winter will make a real difference to Crisis’s year-long work to end homelessness. His passion will show people without a home that they are not forgotten.”
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