Congratulations to our fabulous fundraiser Jule Harries, who has just hit the half-way mark in her incredible 100 Hats Challenge.
Brave Jule is undertaking 100 open water swims, in a different hat each time, to raise money to support our young carers (aged 5-17), as well as for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
On 1st May she did her 50th swim, wearing one of the most incredible creations yet – a hat full of flowers to celebrate May day.
New to open-water swimming
Jule, from Beare Green, Surrey, took up open water swimming in May last year and after a few months decided to take her new found love of swimming to the next level with an eye-catching challenge!
If taking on 100 open water swims wasn’t enough, she wanted to do it in a range of weird and wonderful hats. She started her challenge on Remembrance Sunday, donning a vintage tin helmet as Hat Number One..
Other hats have included a Carmen Miranda-style mountain-of-fruit headpiece, an American Football helmet, vintage police and firemen’s helmets, fencing mask, full-length Christmas tree, turkey and Cheshire cat.
Where possible, Jule tries to tie in the choice of hat with special events or celebrations close to the day of her swim… Look out for National Space Day coming soon!
Jule’s inspiring fundraising challenge is raising vital funds for two charities very close to her heart.
She said: “I was keen to help Surrey Young Carers (part of charity Action for Carers), as I work in a school where a number of pupils are registered as young carers. The charity provides support and advice to these youngsters and gives them opportunities to meet others in similar situations, share their experiences, and take time out from their caring role.”
“I’m also supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK as I have seen firsthand the devastating impact of dementia and have also worked as a research scientist, so I know how important their work is in finding a cure for this horrible disease.”
Swims have been challenging, especially when the temperature has been very low both in and out of the lake, but Jule is enjoying the support and encouragement of her fellow swimmers and the safety team at the lake.
She said: “This is a very happy challenge, which brings a smile to people’s faces, and I always feel very glad when I’ve completed my swim… even if I didn’t feel like getting into the freezing water beforehand! That’s not the only challenge though: deciding on a hat, sourcing it or making it, and then trying to safely swim with it when it might be heavy, bulky, wobbly, or all three, is part of the test… and part of the fun.”
To find out more and donate
To watch Jule’s progress, and see her latest hat, visit her on Instagram @Jule.Harries or you can see her updates and sponsor her at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/juleharries2
Thank you Jule for all you’re doing to help Surrey’s young carers!