For the last 53 days, Eddy – nicknamed Ice Man by his friends – has plunged his body into freezing cold water in a bid to raise money for Mind. And – with a pledge to take an ice bath every day for 365 days – he’s still got more than 300 days of subzero submersion to go.
Eddy’s target is to raise £5,000 for the mental health charity at the same time as boosting his own physical and mental wellbeing and testing his endurance. A keen sportsman who visits the gym five times a week and plays football, Eddy is no stranger to aches and pains and minor injuries.
He’s often heard about the benefits of taking an ice bath to promote healing, burn fat and boost energy. So, when he decided to challenge himself to take a daily ice bath, Eddy wanted a charity to benefit and chose Mind as mental health and wellbeing is a subject that’s close to his heart. He said:
A lot of people are struggling right now. I work in recruitment for the private health sector and am in regular contact with mental health providers and other private healthcare organisations. Also, I grew up in a fostering family – my mum has been a foster carer for nearly 15 years and my three brothers and I saw children with all kinds of problems come into our home when we were young. One of them, who recently turned 18, has been with us for 12 years. He’s really different from the child who first arrived – he’s at college now and hoping to go to university. I want to help people like him or anyone who’s having a tough time.
Eddy coached his local football team and has worked with children through sport since he was a teenager. While his career has now taken him into recruitment, he remains a dedicated sports enthusiast and someone who’s keen to make a difference to people who may not have had the best start in life.
Mum, Maxine, who fosters with West Yorkshire agency Fostering Solutions, said:
“He’s doing so well, I’m really proud of him. Edward’s very determined and motivated, I know I wouldn’t last 30 seconds! He has his ice bath outside and for much of January, he’s had to break the ice on top of it each morning to get in. When he’s not doing that, he’s going to the supermarket to buy ice every day. People can watch his videos on social media and see that it’s for real. It’s a massive commitment, I don’t think there are many people who could do it. I hope it will raise awareness of Mind and the work they do, as well as raising money.”
Eddy spends three minutes a day submerged in icy water. Some days, he admits, it’s really hard-going:
It’s worse in the morning, getting out of a warm bed, but it’s for a good cause and I haven’t missed a day. Even when I went to Dublin with work, I contacted a local sports physiotherapy centre that had a professional ice tub and they let me use it. Although it’s only three minutes that I’m in the water, it actually takes a lot longer because you have to allow your body temperature to rise naturally for around 20 minutes afterwards. I record each ice bath so then I have to edit the video and post it on social media. It takes around 45 minutes in total.
To date, Eddy has raised just under £1200 of his £5,000 target. As well as sponsorship from family and friends, he has received several anonymous donations as well as money from Fostering Solutions.
If you would like to sponsor Eddy’s ice bath challenge, visit his Just Giving page here.
You can also follow Eddy’s journey on Instagram: Eddymaywand