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Knettishall family brave freezing cold swim every day of February



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A Knettishall family are bracing the sub-zero February weather by going for ice cold swims every day for the entire month.

The Bucher family are taking a dip a day in The Little Ouse River in an effort to raise an impressive £8,000 for a children’s charity.

Initially a solitary challenge for dad James, his two children, Jago, 12, and Florence, 11, bravely offered to join him, spending at least one minute a day in the freezing cold river at Knettishall Heath.

James, Jago and Florence Bucher swimming in the Little Ouse river at Knettishall Heath. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
James, Jago and Florence Bucher swimming in the Little Ouse river at Knettishall Heath. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

“It’s a very tough challenge,” said Mr Bucher, 45, who works as a farmer with his wife, Nina, 49.

“I said I was going to do it and they came to watch. The next day, they said they would come and do it, too.

“Then we thought it would be a nice idea to do a dip a day.

“There’s plenty of people who are running a kilometre a day, but this is a challenge that not many people would do, or even contemplate.”

While most cold water swimmers rely on a wet suit to handle the temperatures, Mr Bucher and Old Buckenham Hall students Jago and Florence are relying on a woolly hat and neoprene gloves and socks in an effort to keep the cold at bay.

More than a week in, and the trio are beginning to improve on their personal bests, having managed more than 10 minutes in the two degree water this week.

“It’s hard, but it feels quite good when you get out,” said Mr Bucher.

“Rather than just jumping straight in, we go in quite slowly. It’s strangely addictive, and you feel wonderful afterwards as well.”

The challenge is being undertaken to raise money for the NSPCC – a charity close to the family’s heart.

“When we decided to do it, we wanted to do it for a children’s charity, and the NSPCC was as good a choice as any,” said Mr Bucher, with his mother-in-law, 78-year-old Attleborough resident Lisa Clabburn, working for the charity for most of her life.

“During this pandemic, I feel as though children have been swept under the rug a little, and a lot of them are going to suffer, especially with their mental health.”

Despite setting an ambitious fundraising target of £8,000, the family are more than halfway there, having raised almost £4,500 so far.

To donate to the fundraiser, click here.



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