Record turnout for 2017 Felixstowe Christmas Day Dip in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice
PUBLISHED: 07:28 26 December 2017
A record turnout of over 400 people enjoyed the traditional Christmas Day dip at Felixstowe. See our photo gallery and videos here.
The annual fundraiser features hardy volunteers – many dressed in festive clothes or fancy dress – dashing into the icy waters in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice.
This year – the 14th the dip has run at Felixstowe – more than 400 people took part, making it a record turnout for the dip.
St Elizabeth Hospice chief executive Mark Millar said: “It’s great to see over 400 people doing the Christmas dip this morning, on a fairly cold, windy morning I think they’re all very brave, they’re all great supporters, they’re all heroes.
“All of these events that we do, and all the things people do to support us while having fun are enormously important in being able to continue the work we do for people.”
Many people take part in memory of a friend or loved one who has been given support by the hospice.
More than 2,000 patient and their families benefit from the hospice’s support as they battle progressive and terminal illnesses.
The day has become so popular that many will come from miles away to take part.
Quincy Mortere made the trip from Belgium for his fourth Felixstowe Christmas Day dip.
“I’m visiting on holiday and just making a good cause for charity.
“It’s my fourth time, fourth year in a row, it was lovely.”
For others the community spirit and special atmosphere of the day is what makes the event so special.
“I think last year we regretted not having booked for it,” said Julie Gloaguen from Ipswich.
Francesca Gloaguen added: “We weren’t doing much in the morning on Christmas Day and saw pictures on Instagram and Facebook and thought, we’ve got to go.
“To see so many people gathered on the beach and then jumping in for the same cause, it was really special.”
In Southwold, more than 150 swimmers took the plunge in aid of the Rotary Club of Southwold’s three chosen charities for 2017 – the RNLI, the Sole Bay Care Fund and the Southwold and Reydon Recreational Development Council.