Around 250 Canberrans braved this morning’s chill to bare it all for Lifeline’s Winter Solstice Nude Charity Swim.
Swimmers were up at the crack of dawn to strip and dip and were luckily thrown a lifeline in the form of bonfires and coffee after enduring near-freezing water.
The evident and unavoidable cold was no deterrent. This year’s turnout smashed the previous record of 170 people who dropped their daks in 2019.
Due to COVID-19, last year’s swim was limited to just two participants.
The generosity of Canberrans has not shrunk either. Almost $30,000 was raised this year for Lifeline – almost double last year’s result.
Ian Lindeman founded the swim in 2017 to support charities in the fight against cancer and mental illness, a year before his son Evan ‘Ev’ Lindeman took his life at 34.
Ian did not live to see last year’s swim, dying from liver cancer at the end of 2018.
Ian’s brother Peter was one of the swim’s two participants last year, while his son, Rowan, took part in his first solstice swim this morning.
If this morning’s skinny dippers inspired you to donate to Lifeline Canberra, visit the Winter Solstice Charity Swim website until 30 June.
All funds raised go towards Lifeline’s crisis support services in Canberra and its 13 11 14 helpline.
Lifeline’s crisis line has experienced record demand off the back of the pandemic, including a 130 per cent rise in crisis calls regarding suicide, child safety and domestic violence requiring emergency intervention in the last financial year.
Fundraising efforts were also curtailed due to the pandemic, including a halt in 2020 to Lifeline Canberra’s famous Book Fairs.
If you or anyone you know requires mental health support, call Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis support service on 13 11 14. In an emergency, call triple zero (000).