East Lancashire Hospice

Hospice Physio's Arctic Flapper Challenge

East Lancashire Hospice Physiotherapist Rachel Jones is one brave lady as she’s all set to take on the Arctic Flappers Challenge 2020/2021 in aid of the hospice this Autumn/Winter.

She is challenging herself to complete 20 swims in 21 weeks between 1st November 2020 and the 28th March 2021.

Having initially met a group of ladies through the HSBC Breeze lets Ride Scheme that encourages women into cycling, Rachel and her friends were inspired by their Breeze champion to take on open water swimming. The ladies completed their first swim on the Summer solstice this year wearing nothing more than a swimming costume and a hat. Rachel described it as “exhilarating” and said “that was it, I had the bug!”

Since then, Rachel and the other ladies have joined the Bluetits Chill Swimmers, and called their group ‘the Bluetits Two Wheels’ and it was through this that Rachel found out about the Arctic Flappers Challenge 20/21

Rachel described what personally attracted her to join the group “I really liked the idea of joining the Bluetits Chill Swimmers as it’s not about what distance, speed or quality of stroke you achieve, rather it’s just about getting into the cold water and enjoying the experience. As a physi­ot­he­rapist, I believe that activity should be made inclusive and accessible to all so that everybody can have the opportunity to experience the positive impact that being active, whilst out in nature, can have on wellbeing”.

Rachel went on to explain why she has decided to take on this challenge on behalf of East Lancashire Hospice, “It is my hope to encourage people to be active in the winter months whilst raising money for the hospice. I’ve witnessed the positive impact that the hospice has on its patients and their families and would really like to support fundraising where I can”.

Rachel will adhere to national and local guidelines during this challenge, but hopes to return to group swims as lockdown eases.

Having completed her first swim on the 4th November 2020 (see picture) Rachel is well on her way to achieving her goal.

If you would like to support Rachel in her latest challenge and help to raise money for East Lancashire Hospice, you can do so by visiting Rachel’s Just Giving page as follows https://­www.­justgiving.­com/­fundraising/­rachel-jones204

For further information please contact Katie Elliott – Marketing & Communications Lead on:

Telephone: 01254 287015

Email: Katie.Elliott@eastlancshospice.org.uk 

Additional Information:

About the BlueTits Chill Swimmers Group

The Bluetits Chill Swimmers group was created in September 2014 by Sian Richardson who after years of partaking in triathlons, cyclosportive events, marathons, ultramarathons, swims and multi-sports events decided cold water swimming might be an interesting new challenge, one that was less of a strain on her joints and wallet.

As she swam into the winter months of 2014/15 she discovered it was no less of a challenge mentally. As the months passed by and the temperature dropped she continued to squeal and whoop in the Pembrokeshire sea. She squealed and whooped quite loud so it would seem. Others heard me and came along to join me, and that is how The Bluetits began.

Now, in 2020, there are over 4000 Bluetits worldwide, who are joined together by a love of swimming, adventure, and the sense of community that brings. The BlueTits Chill Swimmers is not an official club, there are no membership fees and anyone is welcome at any of the informal swims arranged in the groups.

Further information can be found by visiting:


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