Fund-raising swimmers braved the ‘chilli’ plunge to raise more than £3,700 and counting for a vital Bury St Edmunds charity.
Twenty four people were challenged to swim for five minutes in 6c waters at Moreton Hall Health Club as part of St Nicholas Hospice Care’s Big Chilli Dip.
To help them warm up after their stint in the pool, each swimmer was treated to a bowl of piping hot chilli.
Among those who dipped into the near-icy pool was Alex Embiricos, of Bradfield St Clare, who has already raised £500 for taking part.
She said: “When I first got in it was just like being stung by nettles - it felt like little pin pricks.
“I just had to keep going. At the end of the five minutes I actually felt like I could have done a bit more.
“It was quite a mental challenge and I just had to trust that my body would keep doing the right thing.”
Anna Richards, of Bury, said: “It felt like the swim was lasting ages but then it did start to get easier. There was a lovely atmosphere thanks to so many people supporting us.
“I did it because my mum has been diagnosed with cancer and, although she’s not local, she will be needing a hospice before too long. This was a way for me to support our local hospice and a way of doing something for her.”
Rachel Card, of Stowmarket, participated wearing her bikini after being pledged an extra £20 from one of her sponsors. She added: “The first three or four lengths were the worst - I couldn’t catch my breath - but it got easier after that.”
The event was supported by Moreton Hall Health Club, which donated its facilities, and sponsored by Atkins Thomson.