safety advice for wild swimmers

Our Haramaki are very popular with Sea Swimmers – great for warming up after a cold dip in the ocean or lake. So we are sharing:

Safety Advice For Outdoor Swimmers

Following the easing of the lockdown last week, safety advice has been put forward by Swim England, British Triathlon and the Royal Life Saving Society UK regarding swimming in Rivers, Lakes and the Sea.  This is very useful information for anyone deciding whether to swim outdoors.

The 3 organisations are encouraging people to take extra precautions when swimming in lakes, rivers or the sea – no matter how experienced they are.

The recommendations include:

  • Information on where to swim and accredited venues
  • Six key steps to consider before going on an open water swim at unsupervised locations
  • Assessing risk due to weather conditions and water temperature
  • Advice on wetsuits and equipment
  • Course planning and the safe entry and exit of the water
  • Plus, recovery and nutrition.

These recommendations can be found here

The recommendations include the use of a Tow Float to increase visibility and aid rescue if required. Goggles are recommended as they allow you to see underwater obstructions and a high visibility cap to help with being seen.

Our friends at Seabirds sell Puffin Tow floats here. Hats here and goggles here

Seabirds is a social enterprise, so when you buy from them you help fund our wellbeing projects. More information on how to keep warm after swimming can be found here on their blog. 

One main tip is to get dressed as quickly as possible and wear many layers – this is where a haramaki really comes into its own. Keeping warm round the core can really help. Find them here

Covid19 Fundraiser

Sharing this blog from Seabirds to support their fundraising efforts in lockdown!

“Somewhat beached by the lockdown we have had to postpone  our water and wellbeing courses and other Seabirds events. While we are in discussion about how to plan for the future and seeing where lockdown leads us it has helped us both personally and as a business to make sure Seabirds continues to focus on community wellbeing. We have found we can continue to do this through mutual aid and community action –  supporting our friends at Thousand 4 £1000 with our Covid-19 fundraiser and now our ….

Seabirds’ Weekly Art Raffle!

Own original artwork, limited edition prints and one- off objects by Brighton’s wonderful photographers, illustrators and graphic novelists!

We will donate every penny of this and enter your name into a draw where you will stand a far-higher-than- the-national-lottery chance of having successfully bid for one of our featured artworks, which are all worth a lot more than two quid.

In future weeks we will have:​​​​​​​

Amazing Brighton Wave Photos and images from Toby; our very own Hannah Eaton , Seabird Jess Barnes and Cath’s generous neighbour, Bite your Granny

Please donate as much as you can – you can buy as many tickets as you like to improve your chances 🙂 If you want to enter each week there is a BUNDLE available for the entire raffle (valid each week – £20) “

Don’t forget to get your tickets and good luck. Please spread the word and share the love! xxx

Why I sea swim….

So my other business is Seabirds Ltd, a Wild Swim Social Enterprise. Our core-warmers and other cosy bits on offer on our website are very popular with sea swimmers, who need to get their layers on and hot tea in them after a cold dip. Here is why I swim…

I have always swum in pools, and the sea when I had the chance (holidays in Bournemouth as a kid getting sunburnt in the shallows). I have always liked being in water but forced myself to swim really getting bored ploughing up and down the lanes but finding it meditative and therapeutic. Then I had kids and became my mother, sitting on the beach staying covered up while the kids enjoyed themselves but not joining in the fun of it.

We joined the Surf Lifesaving Club when our eldest was 11 and it was on a week way in North Devon where the kids and many of the Dads were surfing that I thought, “what the hell I am doing? why aren’t I in there having fun like them – what is going on with all us Mums that we are still on the shore?”. Many of us then had a surf lesson and that was that – I was someone who got in, fell off boards, got tumbled, tired and freezing. And loved it! Fast forward a few years and I am still getting in but only in a wetsuit with a board, or on really really hot days and holidays. Stress build up at work and a group of friends from surf club  started sea swimming in the Spring, and we just never stopped. It became an essential in my life but hadn’t realised it was missing until I found it. It got me through a difficult time back then and lead to founding the Seabirds 🙂

My earliest memory of the sea is jumping up and down in rubber rings playing a game with no rules or logic that i had created with my brother in Durley Chine, Bournemouth. Hours in the sea in hot sunshine but blue round the mouth with cold and sunburnt so my Dad made me wear a t-shirt in the sea. Loving it. Joyful and playful, laughing in the waves. (probs 1976?)

Favourite place to swim in Brighton and Hove….Costa del Brunswick, especially in the hot summer when I park up there for hours at a time with the kids in the water and coming back for food and drinks and a Salty Seabird friend will join me for a swim.

I swim in the sea because it meets a deep need in me for being immersed in water, nature and the feeling of release and being ‘held’. I never regret a swim and always feel happier and better after one.

In ‘regular’ times I swim most days – 5 days a week if I can. Favourite kind of sea is a bouncy watery roller coaster type just this side of safe! Plunging through big crashy waves and not feeling the cold (was is that about not feeling it so much when its rough? ) but getting the energy is so invigorating and makes me feel great. With sea swimming and the Salty community in my life I am a more even, happier person. It has re-built my resilience.

I love the Salty Seabird Community so much – when we started it 2 years ago we had no idea it would grow so big and vibrant. That people have made lasting friendships and find support from the community there makes me proud and happy beyond words. Who knew there were so many up for dicking about the sea and being bloody brilliant to each other? So much love. I have met some truly fabulous people. Miss you all! xxxx

seabirds brighton art raffle

PS Another of my roles is as a volunteer with a Thousand 4 £1000 who Seabirds are supporting with our fundraiser our Weekly Art Raffle – please click the links to read more about what we do and how you could help. Like Seabirds, T4K is all about building community and sharing the love. If you can donate the price of a cup of coffee a month to support some of the most vulnerable in our local community then please sign up on the website. xxx

 

Masks4All – handmade cloth face masks

Order your cloth mask here, to help stop the virus in its tracks.

woman wearing a cloth mask with elastic ear loops

One of the people charity T4K support,  a skilled seamstress who is a refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan, is making high quality masks to help minimise the spread of the Covid-19 virus within the local community.

The masks have a double layer of cotton, with space for a disposable filter (such as a paper towel). The top edge has a mouldable wire, to help fit the mask more closely to your face. They are washable, so they can be cleaned and reused when you next need to go out for shopping or essential tasks.

Here are some tips on wearing cloth masks properly and safely.

“Our volunteers can deliver your mask(s) to you by hand (contact free), in the Brighton & Hove area. Outside Brighton, we will send them by post.

Please donate what you can afford – suggested donation: £6 per mask or £10 for two. Please add £2 to your donation to cover postage costs, if applicable. Funds will be used to cover the cost of materials, pay the maker for her time and support our Covid-19 emergency appeal.”

Here’s what one happy recipient, Fiona, had to say about her masks:

Thank you so much for dropping off my masks. They are beautifully made and stylish too! They have exceeded my expectations

Nobody left behind – love is what we need

I am part of the charity T4K, or Thousand for £1000. What is fabulous about T4K, Brighton Migrant Solidarity and the Jollof Cafe (which all kind of merge together tbh – but T4K is the official charity part) is that it is all underwritten and driven by LOVE. We have chosen to respond to the current ‘situation’ by trying to keep focus on the positives. Like the beautiful mutual aid and support spreading throughout the nation and particularly flourishing in our own Brighton and Hove. We wanted to be a part of that. So we are supporting their emergency fund and asking you all to donate and share the fund with your networks.

COVID 19 EMERGENCY APPEAL FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS

They will make weekly cash payments to around 50 asylum seekers and other migrants with no source of income, to enable them to buy food, fuel and phone credit during the Covid 19 emergency. They have already made sure 4 households of asylum seekers have internet access to be able to contact the outside world and keep in touch with their family while in isolation.

“In a pandemic, we can clearly see that the wellbeing of each of us is important for the health of all of us.

Please help us to make Brighton & Hove a community where nobody is left out in the cold”

Donate your cash direct to the fund if you can still spare some. I think we can all agree it is LOVE that makes the world go round, more apparent than ever right now and it is LOVE that will get us through this.

We are still shipping out orders (following all the guidelines on Covid19 and hygiene). Work, kids and Netflix and Just Dance taking up most of my time (mainly the Netflix if I am honest) – so if I manage one improving podcast or vlog a day I am happy. A few brilliant ones that relate to this is Brene Brown on the finding of meaning in the grieving process that we are all going through and my wonderful comrade and friend Jacob’s TED talk which explains why T4K was set up and why it is ALWAYS more fulfilling (and more FUN!) to CHOOSE LOVE.

On the subject of Love – BIG BIG LOVE to all of you who are key workers, we all send you love and massive thanks as you continue to make our world go round xxx