Ladies bare all in name of charity

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FIVE women braved the cold, and took a couple of kayakers and dog walkers by surprise, when they stripped off for a charity swim.

The skinny dip last Sunday (September 4) on the beach at Cinque Ports Way, St Leonards, was such a success, the ladies are planning a repeat performance for next year.

Back in July, friends Paula Styles, from Milton Keynes and June Le Gallais, from Melton Mowbray, came up with the idea to raise money for Help the Heroes, as June’s husband had recently returned from army service in Afghanistan.

Through Facebook, Lucy Derrett, from Staplehurst and Xaviera Jackson from Maidstone, joined them. They even recruited Hastings resident Toni-Jane Blake Dyas, who rose to the challenge after reading about it in the Observer.

Paula said: “We had such a wonderful time, it was so exhilarating.”

Hastings and St Leonards showed itself to be progressive, as it was the only place Julie found where the ladies were welcome to strip off for charity. Julie thanked Nick Sangster at Hastings Beach Resources for his help with organising the event.

She said: “He took me round five different sites, so I could pick one. We wanted to do it somewhere less public, as we didn’t want an audience.”

The ladies were looked after on the day by local lifeguards Philly and Jen, who also doubled as the photographers.

The total amount raised for Help for Heroes is around £800, and Julie hopes to raise more next year by getting more women on board.

Visit www.bmycharity.com/skinnydip to make a donation.