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St Elizabeth Hospice calls on fundraisers to join Christmas Day Dip 2017 on Felixstowe beach

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 September 2017

The Christmas Day Dip 2016 at Felixstowe. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS

The Christmas Day Dip 2016 at Felixstowe. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS

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Hundreds of hardy souls are set to take the plunge this Christmas as the annual Christmas Day Dip returns to Felixstowe in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice.

Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber and Felixtsowe mayor Nick Barber are joining up to take on the Christmas Day dip in Felixstowe this year. Picture: GREGG BROWN Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber and Felixtsowe mayor Nick Barber are joining up to take on the Christmas Day dip in Felixstowe this year. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Each year around 400 fundraisers brave the chilly coastline on Christmas morning and dive into the sea for charity, raising much needed money for St Elizabeth Hospice.

The hospice has this week officially launched this year’s Christmas Day Dip, where hundreds are being encouraged to join the festive fun.

Catherine Sheppard, events and challenges fundraiser at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “This will be our 14th Christmas Day Dip and it’s gathering quite a following.

“We now have around 400 people take part each year and see this as the start of their festivities on the day.

The Christmas Day Dip 2016 at Felixstowe. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS The Christmas Day Dip 2016 at Felixstowe. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS

“Their friends and family all come along to watch and there’s a fantastic atmosphere as everyone gathers to run in to the sea.

“The hospice itself is open 365 days a year, including Christmas Day, so it’s important that we fundraise 365 days a year too in order to offer our services to local people.

“While those raising money will be dashing in to the bracing waters, there will be patients in the hospice, receiving the care they need, thanks to their support.”

Joining the dippers this year will be the mayors of Felixstowe and Ipswich Nick Barber and Sarah Barber (no relation).

Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber and Felixtsowe mayor Nick Barber are joining up to take on the Christmas Day dip in Felixstowe this year. Picture: GREGG BROWN Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber and Felixtsowe mayor Nick Barber are joining up to take on the Christmas Day dip in Felixstowe this year. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sarah, who is taking part for the third time, said: “As a nurse I have seen first-hand the amazing work that the hospice does and I am an enthusiastic supporter.

“Not only do they offer vital support to patients and their families but they also help people talk about, what is for many, the taboo subject of death.”

Nick Barber added: “The mayor of Felixstowe has on many occasions started this event encouraging others into the sea but this year I wanted to actually joining in.

“I am planning to do in a business suit which I am sure will be worth seeing.”

The event is short, and ends following a short dip into the sea, with those taking part being awarded a medal before returning home to enjoy Christmas with their families.

Sign-up is £12, or £7 if signed up before October 31.

Visit the website here to sign up.

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