Thirteen year old Thomas Boyt prepares to take part in the Felixstowe Charity Christmas Dip, inspired by his nan's successful fiht against cancer.

Felixstowe: Teenager inspired by nan to brave the chilly sea and raise funds for St Elizabeth hospice

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
1.04 PM

WHILE thousands of excited youngsters will be unwrapping presents on Christmas morning, one teenager from the resort will be celebrating in a different way.

For 13-year-old Thomas Boyt, of Shotley Close, will be plunging into the chilly sea at Felixstowe to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice.

He was inspired to take part in the Christmas Day Dip by his nan, Pat Cornforth, 66, who successfully battled Non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2009.

Pat was diagnosed in March of that year and Thomas hopes his challenge will help other people whose loved ones are going through similar situations.

He said: “I will still have my grandmother this Christmas, but I know this time of year must be very difficult for people who aren’t so lucky.

“St Elizabeth Hospice does a lot of good work to help both people who are very ill and their families, so I want to do something to help them.”

The Felixstowe Academy student has wanted to take part in the event since Pat went into remission in 2009, but he had to wait until this year to take part when he reached the minimum age limit.

He has already raised more than £250 for his swim and Pat also hopes to be on the seafront next Tuesday to cheer him on.

She said: “I’m proud of him to think he wants to do this.

“I’m not surprised because he is such a caring child and it is nice that he wants to do something like that, especially when it will help other people.”

Emily Sullivan, the Hospice’s Fundraising Event Officer, added: “Stories such as Thomas’s show that there is a huge range of reasons why people take part in the Christmas Day Dip and support the Hospice.

“Some people get involved in memory of a loved one, while others are just looking for an exhilarating way to start the day.” More than 270 people have already signed up for this year’s Christmas Dip and there is still a chance to take part.

Registration costs £5 per person and people taking part are also asked to raise sponsorship funds as well.

People will be able to register online at www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk until 5pm on Sunday, December 23. People can also register on the day from 8.30am in front of Manning’s Amusements.

■ Are you preparing to raise funds for charity? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk