Nicola's freezing fundraiser pays off

Nicola Oakley who did a fundraising Christmas Day sea swim. Image shows her just emerged from the sea wearing a purple patterned bikini and gloves

Published 2 March 2023

Congratulations to Nicola Oakley, who smashed her fundraising target for East Kent Hospitals Charity.

Nicola has raised almost five times her original £500 target, collecting a fantastic £2,250 to benefit Cathedral Day Unit at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, where she works as a chemotherapy nurse educator.

The donations flooded in after she took the plunge in a Christmas Day swim near her parents’ home in Clacton.

She said: “I was amazed to see how much I raised – people have been incredibly generous.

“I do enjoy sea swimming, but usually in the summer, and this was my first Christmas Day dip.

“I didn’t bother with a wet suit or any special equipment, just my usual swimming costume, and it was certainly a refreshing experience!”

The money will be used to benefit patients and staff on the ward, and could fund items such as specialist cooling caps for patients undergoing cancer treatment.

The caps are worn during chemotherapy infusions and stop the drug reaching the hair follicles, helping to prevent hair loss.

Nicola said: “The caps are fantastic and help people keep their dignity and sense of self during their treatment.

“They aren’t for everyone – some people find them too uncomfortable – but for those who can tolerate them it really does seem to work.”

You can add to Nicola’s fundraising at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nicola-oakley7