DALES swimmers have been stoically taking to the outdoors throughout January for a daily dip in freezing cold water in support of a charity that helps homeless people get back on their feet.

Last year, the January Daily Dippers raised an amazing £55,000 for the charity Crisis UK, and although the swimmers don't expect to be able to match it this year, because of the end of furlough for many, they are just short of their £20,000 target, once again, for the homelessness charity.

The around 40 dippers come from all over the UK, but with the majority in the Dales and in West Yorkshire, and also some in Cumbria and Preston.

Malham based Stuart Gledhill, who swims outdoors with a group of about six to eight others, often at Janet's Foss and Eel Pool, Stainforth, said it wasn't always easy to get motivated to go out for a swim when it was dark and cold, but he had a choice, whereas there were many homeless people who did not.

The swimmers have dipped themselves in all sorts of cold water throughout the month, including streams, waterfalls, rivers and even wheelie bins, when nothing else was available - their only rule is no wetsuits, just red swimming costumes and big smiles.

January Daily Dip founder Jamima Latimer said: “lt’s very fitting, but also sadly poignant, that we are raising awareness of homelessness in this way. In England alone, more than 200,000 households are facing the worst forms of homelessness. Many of them are living on the streets or in cold and damp temporary or insecure accommodation. We see the January Daily Dip as a daily vigil into the cold - something to remind ourselves, and others, that no-one should be homeless in the UK in 2022."

To help the dippers hit their target, visit: www.justgiving.com/january-daily-dip-22; or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Januarydailydip