Skip to main content

The Bluetits Chill Swimmers

2277. Sian Richardson

Sian Richardson, from Pembrokeshire, founded ‘The Bluetits Chill Swimmers’, a global community of over 120,000 people regularly taking part in social cold water swimming sessions and outdoor adventures.

Following years of partaking in physical challenges including triathlons and marathons, Sian wanted to take on a new challenge and decided to try cold water swimming. Finding that she was gradually being joined by others who didn’t want to swim alone, she created the ‘Bluetits Chill Swimmers’ in 2014, providing a safe and inclusive space for people to safely explore the physical and mental benefits of outdoor swimming. 

Since then, Sian has grown the community into a social enterprise which also supports members to gain coaching and water qualifications by reinvesting funds raised into the ‘Bluetit Bursary’. 

Sian speaks at events across the UK about non-competitive swimming, water safety, and coaching and is currently working on an ‘Introduction to Open Water Immersion and Water Safety Course’, which members will have access to, once accredited. 

In a personal letter to Sian, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“From taking that first dip alone in the sea in 2014, you have built an extraordinary global community of more than 120,000 people, promoting the physical and mental health benefits of safe cold-water swimming.

“You have grown Bluetits Chill Swimmers into a social enterprise which is helping people to run swimming groups in their local area and develop coaching qualifications. I know you are also raising awareness of water safety, speaking at events across the country and partnering with the RNLI to create a series of safety recordings.”

Congratulating Sian on her award, the Secretary of State for Wales, the Rt Hon David TC Davies, said:

“Congratulations to Sian on her Points of Light Award. She has made a fantastic contribution to her community in Pembrokeshire, encouraging people to experience the benefits of cold water swimming by creating a social and supportive club. And she has done a brilliant job of spreading the word about water safety and helping others gain important qualifications. I’m delighted that her work has been recognised.”

The Rt Hon Stephen Crabb, Sian’s local MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said: 

“I am delighted that Sian has been recognised by the Prime Minister for her outstanding work in setting up the ‘Bluetits Chill Swimmers’. From its Pembrokeshire beginnings, the Bluetits has become a global movement promoting the physical and mental health benefits of cold water swimming. I am thrilled that Sian has put Pembrokeshire on the map in this way. Her vision, energy and sheer hard work have led to a huge growth in the number of people participating in this outdoor activity both in Pembrokeshire and further afield.”

Sian said:

“I am thrilled and grateful to receive this award from the Prime Minister, recognizing not only my work as the founder of ‘The Bluetits Chill Swimmers’, but also the incredible contributions of all the Bluetits who have made this award possible. This recognition validates our collective efforts in building a community that promotes adventure, well-being, and connection. Thank you for this incredible honor, and a special praise to all the Bluetits who have played a vital role in our journey.”

Find out more about ‘The Bluetits Chill Swimmers’ 

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

Volunteer now

Search winners