Blue Mind Men, a cold water swimming group in Windermere founded by Outdoor Swimmer contributing editor Jonathan Cowie and swim coach Gilly McArthur, has won the ‘Ways to Wellbeing’ category of the Head Outside Awards. The group were presented with the award at a ceremony at Kendal Mountain Festival on Friday 17 November.
“Getting active in the outdoors – whether you swim, hike, climb, cycle – is great for our mental health, but doing it as part of a supportive community is something really special,” said Jonathan. “We were among 100 entries, so to win means the world to us.”
The peer-supported group meet every Sunday at 9am at Rayrigg Meadow in Windermere. Every swim starts with introductions and a chat before entering the water – whatever the weather! The group was started nearly two years ago with the aim of creating a positive space to help improve men’s mental health through cold water and community.
Blue Mind Men swimmer Ian Wood said: “Some come once, some a handful of times and some become part of the furniture – whoever you are, you are welcome. Blue Mind Men is more than just cold water, it is permission to get out of the house on a cold, often wet, Sunday morning and still be back for a family day, it’s the day of the week where some can chat openly, it is to meet new friends, it is a community, it is a safe space, it’s a blue space… it’s a wonderful place.”
The award was judged on the five ways to wellbeing: Give, Connect, Keep Learning, Take Notice and Be Active.
More information: https://www.headoutsideawards.com/
Find Blue Mind Men on Instagram
Images: Jumpy James / Kendal Mountain Festival / Head Outside Awards