MOVE over Bear Grylls – his sister has set her own endurance challenge to raise money for a York-based trust.

Presenter Bear Grylls is known for his extreme outdoor adventures, but now his sister, Lara Fawcett, 54, from Wetherby, will swim for five minutes, three times per week in freezing water throughout February for her very #FrostyFeb fundraiser, with the aim of raising £50,000 for the Archbishop of York Youth Trust.

The trust works in partnership with schools, churches and communities to support young people with skills in leadership, confidence and character-building. Its Young Leaders Award has empowered over 100,000 young people from over 850 schools to learn and practice key skills to transform their communities through social action.

With Covid-19, the UK’s youth services are under serious threat of collapse.

Lara said: “This cause is very close to my heart as it empowers young people from across our communities. Plunging in icy water is a literal wake-up call. We can’t forget our young people. It’s been widely reported lockdown has a detrimental impact on their confidence and mental health, and yet we will be relying on them to demonstrate character and leadership to help rebuild communities. They are the answer to society’s most pressing problems by being the change they want to see in the world - from leading the green agenda, to becoming the next generation of teachers, business leaders and politicians.”

She has chosen safely designated wild swimming areas along the River Nidd and River Ure in chilly North Yorkshire.

Lara is encouraging other experienced cold -water swimmers to join her in the wild swimming challenge, or for anyone else to show their support for #FrostyFeb by immersing themselves in an ice bath or to lie down in the snow for one-minute and donating £10 to the trust. Go to

Text FROSTYFEB to 70085 to donate £10

Lara said: “Both Bear and I are passionate about supporting youth services, Bear is the Chief Scout and I am a Trustee for The Archbishop of York Youth Trust. We as a society need to do as much as we can to empower young people from all walks of life, to aim high, be the best they can be and become the next generation of leaders, which we need more than ever before.”

Dan Finn, Chief Executive of the Archbishop of York Youth Trust. Said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has left communities devastated and I urge the government to do as much as they can to support youth services like ours. By putting character education into practice through meaningful social action, young people are displaying acts of kindness and are petitioning for change all over the country. Lara’s fundraising efforts will help us support even more young people to become leaders now, and in the future.”

Dr Tom Harrison, Director of Education, Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham said “It is vital that we provide opportunities for young people to develop character and leadership skills, such as, resilience, compassion and courage to help them effectively ‘bounce back’ from the COVID-19 pandemic. Through empowering young people to develop their own character and independence via volunteering and social action projects and through acting compassionately by serving those in need, we are laying the foundations for our communities to recover and flourish. The Archbishop of York Youth Trust, through the Young Leaders Award, is an exceptional programme to accomplish this goal”.