I gave a Crisis Christmas dinner to five homeless people by jumping in freezing water

Brrr, it's cold in England.

Crisis Mid-Winter Swim

Eating hot chips in London makes me realise that I took chicken salt for granted in Australia. Every time I eat hot chips without it I suffer serious foodie blue balls. It’s an unwelcome experience but it’s made me more inclined to follow through for the sake of my man friend and his beans.

And that my friends, that is called empathy; the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Some people are rubbish at empathy – Gen Y men, just to name an entire population. I personally think I’m pretty good at empathy. I genuinely hurt inside when I hear of others suffering. I’m always going ‘aww no, poor things.’ You know, really getting at one with all the messed up stuff going on in the world. But hey, we’re not here to talk about Saint Jessica. First of her name.

Well, I guess we are actually. On the weekend, I stripped down to my togs with about a hundred other tan-less middle class saints and jumped into a freezing cold pool to raise money for the Crisis Christmas Appeal. Take that homelessness, you big wanker.

It’s pretty much been scientifically proven that making people experience a sense of empathy is an excellent way to raise money for charity. It makes us realise that we take way too much in our amazing lives for granted; while we stay in bed drinking red wine and watching Lust Cinema on cold rainy Sundays, homeless people are out there engaging in activities about 2% as cool as that. Guilty.

So every year, when temperatures are just fucked enough, Crisis organise the mid-winter swim and it’s really really really unpleasant. Not only is it hard to breathe, but everyone looks really unattractive in winter and there are stiff nipples everywhere.

I took my friend Lozziediddle along as my cameraman, so you can watch below how ridiculous I look at every point of the journey. Everything from my derelict getup (is that a bit much in this context?) and goggles to my awkward camera personality and the hesitation before I scramble in.

I took off my bottoms as soon I got there so my body temperature would cool down and wouldn’t receive such a shock when I dipped it in liquid nitrogen. ‘Trust me, you’ll want to stay warm now. I swim here all the time. I’d put your clothes back on if I were you’ said this know-it-all girl who reminded me of about 10 people I hated in primary school.

I ignored her resting bitch face and just kept them off, wandering around psyching myself up. I don’t think either off us were right anyway. With temperatures that cold you are going to get a shock no matter what. I didn’t actually notice that my entire body was burning until I stopped swimming and stood still. I approached the whole thing as a race because that’s kind of what I thought it was. I did two laps until I realised no one was taking it as seriously as me. So then I kind of got bored and got out. Loz the cameraman had lost me when I sped off out of frame anyway. Fast, huh? Guilty.

When I got out my body was so cold that it was just numb, so I couldn’t actually feel a thing. The temperature of the air around me probably felt like a warm blanket compared to the water, but I couldn’t tell. My skin was all goose-bumped, like plucked naked chicken skin.

I’m glad I took a friend because I probably would have felt more silly with the whole situation at the end. Once it was done we all just kind of stood around, it was over but I think everyone felt like it was rude to leave the party too early. Crisis handed out warm drinks, popcorn and pamphlets and I asked the lovely pamphlet lady to hand out my business card because I’m a sneaky little rabbit.

Basically I did good guys, well we all did good, even the spectators. And the best news is that it’s not too late to sponsor me.

It’d be really cool if you did because I only reached £80 out of my £200 target. And those donations came from my parents and two of my brothers. Thank you immediate family!!!!!!

I also paid £40 when I registered… so that’s like £120… and let me just share with you what £21.62 means for a homeless human this Christmas.

£21.62 reserves one place at Crisis at Christmas and provides…

  • welcoming support from people who really care
  • three nutritious hot meals including Christmas dinner
  • the chance to shower and change clothes, have a haircut and get a health check
  • expert advice on life-changing issues like housing and employment
  • an introduction to Crisis year-round services for training and support for the future

Dig deep, donate now, be a legend.

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.



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