Northampton 'superwoman' completes cold water challenge for Little Irchester animal charity

Open water swimming has helped Helen overcome her battle with depression, weight struggles and family tragedy

By Stephanie Weaver
Thursday, 18th February 2021, 4:13 pm

This 'superwoman' feels she can conquer anything after braving 15 minutes in open water for charity.

Helen Knight of Northampton has battled depression for most of her adult life as well as struggled with her weight, and after her relationship broke down last year, the mum-of-two was desperate to find a way to beat it.

She started open water swimming to improve her mental health and after seeing the huge difference it made, she has not only carried on with it but set herself the 15-minute cold water challenge for charity.

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Helen Knight of Northampton did the 15-minute cold water challenge for Little Irchester's Animals In Need

Helen chose to raise money for Animals In Need, the Little Irchester animal charity which has been rescuing and re-homing animals across the county for 30 years.

She braved the open water at Pitsford on Monday (February 16) and has now raised more than £800.

Helen told this newspaper: "We did the sponsored swim live on Facebook.

"My daughter was cheering me on and reading the support people were posting, which all really helped.

Helen before and after her cold water challenge

"The pain past 10 minutes is horrific but I knew what to expect after the 17-minute cold bath I'd already done.

"When I finished I could barely move, my daughter got me dry, dressed in two onesies, three pairs of socks, two coats, hat, scarf, gloves and two big blankets.

"Henry poured coffee down me as I couldn’t hold my cup from shaking and shivering.

"It took me an hour to warm up.

Helen Knight has been hailed 'superwoman' for her sponsored open water swim

"But the sense of achievement that I had overcome my mind and completed it feels amazing.

"I’m so proud of overcoming everything, I feel I can conquer anything now."

What makes Helen's achievement all the more amazing is that she caught Covid during her training, meaning she spent 20 days self-isolating and could only train at home with cold water baths.

Speaking after Helen's heroic fundraising efforts, Annie Marriott from Animals In Need said: "Wow, what an amazing, inspirational lady Helen is.

"I honestly have no idea how she managed to stay in that freezing cold water for so long, she really is superwoman.

"I wish I could find some of the motivation she has, she’s one in a million."

To read Helen's incredible story and her inspiration for taking the plunge, click here.

If you'd like to sponsor Helen, you can do so by clicking here.

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