Portobello’s wild swimmers host Macmillan Cancer Support coffee morning in the sea

A group of sea dippers have hosted a coffee morning in Portobello’s icy waves to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Support.

By Shona Elliott
Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 4:55 am

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Wild swimmers, some of whom have lost family members to cancer, braved the freezing water armed only with a swimming costume and a fresh cup of coffee at sunrise.

The group hopes others will be motivated to join them by taking part in this year's World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday, September 24.

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Brace yourselves ladies...the wild swimmers get ready to take the plunge

Members were keen to emphasise that getting in the water at the coffee morning is encouraged but completely optional.

Cold water enthusiast, Lynsey Taylor Pittman said: “I lost both my mum and dad to cancer so I know how important supporting those going through something similar is.

“It was incredibly hard losing my mum when I was only 23 and my Dad just at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

“Being in lockdown meant I couldn’t see anyone and that was really difficult. I was still allowed my daily exercise so that’s when I took to the sea.”

Having a handy bar brings some glamour to wild swimming

Ms Pittman also emphasised the positive impact wild swimming has had on her own physical and mental health during the last two year.

She said: “The benefits both on my physical and mental health are huge for me. Getting into the cold water shocks your system and then it begins releasing all the happy hormones.

“When you come out you get this euphoria and just like exercise it gets addictive. I have been doing it for two years now and I love that we can do it as a group again.

“Getting into the sea with others gives you a real connection and amplifies the feelings. It makes it even more special. The connection with nature and friends is exactly what we all need right now. So, get your coffee and cake and give it a go.”

Macmillan relies almost entirely on donations from the public to fund its services, and since the pandemic hit, has seen its fundraising income drop.

The charity is hoping that after 18-months of cancelled fundraising events, people across Edinburgh will sign up for its World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

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