Freezing swims for food bank fundraiser

Anna Kusner is in middle of daily ice pond challenge

Thursday, 20th January — By Dan Carrier

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Anna Kusner has been up at the crack of dawn every morning in 2022

WHEN you are pulling your warm duvet up to your chin and grabbing five more minutes before facing a cold January morning, spare a thought for Hampstead Heath ponds steward Anna Kusner.

The keen swimmer has taken on the challenge of immersing herself in ice cold water every day this month – in a bid to raise funds for the Castlehaven Community Centre food bank.

Ms Kusner, who manages the food hub as well as working at the ponds and the Lido, has been visiting a number of lakes and ponds at dawn across London to complete her challenge, which began as temperatures drop below freezing at night for the first time this winter.

She said: “I have been taking cold showers before I get in to acclimatise, and staying in for around seven minutes each time.It’s refreshing, to say the least.”

To donate search “Castlehaven Food Bank” at

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