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Record turnout for 2017 Felixstowe Christmas Day Dip in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice

PUBLISHED: 07:28 26 December 2017

A record number of people took part in this year's Felixstowe Christmas Day dip. All money raised goes to St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A record number of people took part in this year's Felixstowe Christmas Day dip. All money raised goes to St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A record turnout of over 400 people enjoyed the traditional Christmas Day dip at Felixstowe. See our photo gallery and videos here.

Fundraisers brave the chilly North Sera at Felixstowe. Picture: GREGG BROWN Fundraisers brave the chilly North Sera at Felixstowe. Picture: GREGG BROWN

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.

The mad dash into the water at Felixstowe. Picture: GREGG BROWN The mad dash into the water at Felixstowe. Picture: GREGG BROWN

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.”

Waiting for the start of the dip in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: GREGG BROWN Waiting for the start of the dip in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Many people take part in memory of a friend or loved one who has been given support by the hospice.

Fundraisers ready themselves for the dip. Picture: GREGG BROWN Fundraisers ready themselves for the dip. Picture: GREGG BROWN

More than 2,000 patient and their families benefit from the hospice’s support as they battle progressive and terminal illnesses.

More than 400 people joined the event this year. Picture: GREGG BROWN More than 400 people joined the event this year. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The day has become so popular that many will come from miles away to take part.

Fancy dress was the order of the day for many taking part in the dip at Felixstowe on Christmas Day. Picture: GREGG BROWN Fancy dress was the order of the day for many taking part in the dip at Felixstowe on Christmas Day. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Quincy Mortere made the trip from Belgium for his fourth Felixstowe Christmas Day dip.

Left to right, Suzanne and Debbie ready for the dip. Picture: GREGG BROWN Left to right, Suzanne and Debbie ready for the dip. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“I’m visiting on holiday and just making a good cause for charity.

The Cheeseman family get ready for the big dip. Picture: GREGG BROWN The Cheeseman family get ready for the big dip. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“It’s my fourth time, fourth year in a row, it was lovely.”

A record number of people take part in this year's Felixstowe Christmas Day dip. All money raised goes to St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: GREGG BROWN A record number of people take part in this year's Felixstowe Christmas Day dip. All money raised goes to St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: GREGG BROWN

For others the community spirit and special atmosphere of the day is what makes the event so special.

Enjoying the sea, left to right, Sian Smathers and Mike Hutton. Picture: GREGG BROWN Enjoying the sea, left to right, Sian Smathers and Mike Hutton. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“I think last year we regretted not having booked for it,” said Julie Gloaguen from Ipswich.

Participants in the Southwold Christmas Day swim. Picture: CATHY RYAN Participants in the Southwold Christmas Day swim. Picture: CATHY RYAN

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.

Colourful costumes for the Southwold Christmas Day swim. Picture: CATHY RYAN Colourful costumes for the Southwold Christmas Day swim. Picture: CATHY RYAN

“To see so many people gathered on the beach and then jumping in for the same cause, it was really special.”

Also this year, Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber was joined by Felixstowe mayor Nick Barber (no relation) to take to the waters.

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