Brave Jule takes on 100 Hats Outdoor Swim Challenge

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Jule Harries from Dorking, Surrey is undertaking 100 open water swims, wearing a different hat each time, to raise money both for Action for Carers (our children’s service, SYC) and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Jule, from Dorking, 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. Hat 23, worn on 18th January, was a beret in tribute to Michael Crawford on his birthday.

Other hats have included a bowler, vintage police helmet, fireman’s helmet, 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 Carmen Miranda’s birthday and National Space Day!

Personal inspiration

Jule’s inspiring fundraising challenge is raising vital funds for two charities very close to her heart.

She said: “I was keen to support local charity, Surrey Young Carers (part of 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 I have also worked as a research scientist, so I know how important their work is in finding a cure for dementia.”

Cold-weather challenge

As the temperature drops both in and out of the lake each swim is becoming increasingly more challenging, 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!”

Can you support Jule?

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

A huge thank you from us, to Jule!

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