Helen’s diving in to a chilly new challenge

Helen Hynes
Helen Hynes
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St Helens Mind volunteer Helen Hynes wishes she’d never watched TV presenter Davina McCall’s incredible Sport Relief challenge.

That’s because Helen (pictured), 35, is now limbering up to take on a similarly daunting open-water swim in Lake Windermere to help boost the charity’s coffers.

Helen, of Haresfinch, is set to plunge into the icy water to swim a mile as part of the annual Great North Swim on June 14.

She said: “Davina obviously did a triathlon and the conditions would have been much colder when she did it but, after seeing the state she was in at the end of the swim, I wish I hadn’t watched it!

“I’ve always been quite a good swimmer - I was a lifeguard as a teenager - but open water swimming is much more difficult than swimming in a pool. You can’t see anything underwater and if it’s windy or raining it makes it very difficult to work out where you’re going. But it’s the cold that is the worst thing.

“It’s such a big challenge that I’ve already started to get a bit nervous about it. I’m counting down the days!”

Helen, who was inspired to volunteer for St Helens Mind after her brother Martin took his own life, now works as a volunteer befriender - helping people affected by mental health issues.

Helen, who is also now a trustee for St Helens Mind, added: “After what happened with my brother it’s a cause that is particularly important to me.”

To add your support to Helen for her Great North Swim, you can donate online at: www.virginmoneygiving/HelenHynes