Mirjam Brady-Van den Bos

Swimming into Dee-cember

Fundraising for The River Dee Trust
raised of £500 target
by 45 supporters
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The River Dee Trust

Verified by JustGiving

RCN SC028497
We deliver research, education & projects to restore the River Dee.


Most of you will know that I'm a passionate swimmer. When the pools closed in March this year, it took a huge chunk away from who I am. Initially I tried doing other types of exercise (within the limits that were allowed), but as the weeks went on I found myself gradually losing interest in many things. Life itself lost its colour. I had not realized before just how important 'being in the water' was to me. My lowest point was when I was running on a treadmill in our garage, having flashes of swimming memories, and feeling utterly sad. My husband said 'right, we get you in a wetsuit and you'll go to the sea'. 

That first swim in the sea was indescribable - when I came out, I beamed 'lockdown is over!' - that's how it felt to me. Subsequently I discovered the Swim Free Aberdeen group, who introduced me to the Dee. Ever since, this wonderful river has been my emotional refuge. Only 20 mins cycling away from my house, I can get into the Dee's cool waters and swim a mile non-stop. When Aberdeen was locked down, the river said 'don't worry, I'm here for you'.  Because of the Dee, lockdown has been easier for me, I have been able to do that what is a core part of me.

So I want to give back to the river - I will be raising money to help the River Dee Trust to invest in her future, by planting trees along the Dee's tributaries and restore the habitat for wild salmon (and in turn, whole ecosystems). Investing in nature is also the best investment we can make for our own mental health.

The challenge I have set myself: swimming in the Dee once a fortnight in the months of October, November and December. This is a challenge for me because I have Raynaud's (my hands go numb even from looking at cold water!) and I don't have a lot of 'natural padding'. I will be doing actual swimming (front crawl, face in the water) and not just dip-and-out. As the months go on I will have to reduce the time in the water, and if the river freezes over (it does happen!) I will go to the sea instead. I aim to film everything as evidence that I really did it.

Thank you for sponsoring me!!

About the charity

The River Dee Trust

Verified by JustGiving

RCN SC028497
Our objectives are: 1. To develop our understanding of the ecology and fish stocks of the Dee to restore and improve the River for future generations. 2. To deliver educational information to schools, groups and individuals living in NE Scotland. Thank you for your support.

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