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Published on: Galway Simon Community News

4 Ways to Connect with other Dippers in your Community

Dipping to connect with your community

One of the best things about my job as a Community Fundraiser is bringing like-minded people together who are passionate about taking a challenge and making a real difference in their community.

Seasoned Dippers already know the benefits of taking the plunge and engaging with the usual chat, the Irish hold so dear, with whomever crosses their path.

Nevertheless, when I started the challenge last year, I was surprised at the buoyant and peppy nature of the Dippers and how easy it was to shoot the breeze or ask for tips on dipping. With this in mind, I thought you might enjoy hearing from some of our OG Dippers on the benefits of connecting with other dippers and your community whilst taking part in the challenge. Hopefully, you’ll have the chance to do the same too.

Sinead McKiernan – taking the plunge with your Mam

I signed myself and my mother up for the Dip a Dip in May challenge in 2021. We dipped in the sea every day and squealed and yelped and we loved it!

We met lots of other Dippers who we still bump into now. It was such great therapy, especially after the long lock-downs – the connection and freedom was exactly what we were craving.

I loved it so much that I have not stopped dipping in the sea since, nearly two years later. It is one of my top favourite things to do for myself and I now have a wonderful group of friends that I go in with it. The people you go into the sea with are a special tribe! I am nudging my mam to do it again this year.

Laura Balta – taking the plunge with your kids

I am procrastinator and cannot just decide and do. I have to find a way to motivate myself to just do it! Never mind, the fact that I am really not comfortable being in water, or indeed the cold! So, when I saw this fundraiser last year I knew what to do. Decide, shout about it and post publicly that you are doing it so there’s no way I could opt out.

And oh gosh…. This journey was tough as it was one of the windiest May in years. But something inside me switched, because it’s a year later and I haven’t stopped! The benefits, the feeling afterwards is just so worth it. And the money it raised for the charity was so, so worth it.

I loved that anywhere I went and dipped I met other dippers and there was always banter and chats. It’s like… hey, I hear ye! This year, I really wanted my kids to go for it. So, with a bit of bribing I got two out of three doing it with me. My 11-year-old daughter Freya got it – she caught the buzz and I didn’t have to convince her too hard to sign-up to the fundraiser this year. I’m so proud of her.

Karol Cooke – taking the plunge with your friends

My absolute favourite memory of last year’s challenge was persuading my friends, who live in Westmeath and Dublin, to dig out their togs and dip with me while visiting them. We took the plunge in Coosan, outside Athlone and Killiney Beach, Dublin. The water was freezing but the boisterous banter with these wonderful women kept the chill at bay.

This year, we’re doing it again! I’m hoping to turn it into an annual jaunt to new Dipping locations around the country – I haven’t actually told them this yet as I’m hoping it will simply evolve into its own wee jubilee.

Keep an eye on your emails to see where we end up this year!

Angela Mangan – taking the plunge with your colleagues

Three women smiling and posing for a selfie in front of the sea, for Galway Simons Dip a Day in May

Last year was my second year to take on the Dip a Day Challenge. The first year I did it with one friend and we loved it. The second year I decided to invite my work colleagues to get involved.

Firstly, they thought I was mad but after a bit of persuasion I managed to get some colleagues to join me. I have to say they absolutely loved the challenge and it also gave them a greater knowledge around Galway Simon and its activities.

Sometimes work colleagues just need some gentle encouragement (fibbing – huge encouragement!!) into taking the challenge. But it’s worth it, so keep encouraging, nagging & pestering your colleagues, they will thank you at the end of the 31 days.