Nicola Sturgeon's tribute to Edinburgh duo who swam in sea for 16 days straight for Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has tweeted her support to an Edinburgh duo who have swam in the sea for 16 consecutive days to raise funds for Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline, raising a whopping £17,408 so far.

Brenna Jessie, 27 and Katie Anderson, 36, took the dive off the Portobello coast for 16 days in a row to raise money for the charity they both work for.

And their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by Ms Sturgeon, who tweeted her support for the “tough as nails” pals.

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She said: “What an impressive fundraising achievement for the vitally important @rapecrisisscot helpline.”

The pair were hoping to challenge themselves, and really earn the money they are raising. So far, they have accumulated the substantial sum of £17,408, smashing their initial £500 target out of the water, so to speak.

Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News when they were just over half way through their challenge, Brenna explained: “We thought that this was something that was worth sponsoring.

"Every day is different. Sometimes it’s a struggle prising myself out of bed, know what I’m going to do.”

Katie laughed: “It’s certainly been getting colder.

Picture Credit: Brenna JessiePicture Credit: Brenna Jessie
Picture Credit: Brenna Jessie

"I’m very new to sticking myself in the ocean, so every day is like the coldest day for me.

"Every day I think ‘this is distinctly colder than it was the day before’.”

She said at the time that she actually really enjoyed the wildness of the ocean.

Katie seemed less sure, saying that she was pretty terrified as the waves were so high.

Picture Credit: Brenna JessiePicture Credit: Brenna Jessie
Picture Credit: Brenna Jessie
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They both laughed when they describe people walking along the beach who see them, and are astonished as they leap into the sea.

Brenna said: “Most of them just say ‘oh your brave’!

"We’ve recently been called ‘tough as nails’ which I’m proud of!”

The women discussed their options for a fundraising challenge one day in Portobello.

Picture Credit: Brenna JessiePicture Credit: Brenna Jessie
Picture Credit: Brenna Jessie

Brenna explained: “We were having a coffee and talking about it, about how we wanted to do something.

"One of our main concerns was that it’s been a really hard year for everyone not many folk are going to be in a position to fundraise.”

Katie added: “We both work for Rape Crisis Scotland, I was a volunteer with the helpline for 10 years before I started working for them.

"It’s a cause that’s very dear to our hearts.”

To donate to Brenna and Katie’s fundraiser, click here.

A spokesperson for Rape Crisis Scotland said: “We are so grateful to Brenna and Katie for undertaking such a arduous task to raise money for our helpline.

Picture Credit: Brenna JessiePicture Credit: Brenna Jessie
Picture Credit: Brenna Jessie

"It’s been so inspiring to see them go out every day rain or shine to raise money.

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"What we know is that our helpline can be a life saving service for anyone in Scotland who’s experienced sexual violence.

"Every penny raised by Brenna and Katie will go towards essential services and we just want to thank them and every single person who’s donated for their support.

"It’s been so lovely to see such support not just financially but all the lovely comments we’ve received.”

The Rape Crisis Scotland helpline is 08088 01 03 02 and offers support and information by phone, email and text (07537 410 027).

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