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How the tide has turned for Terri

PUBLISHED: 16:52 17 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

A CHILLY dip in the North Sea by brave swimmers, is going to raise money for Terri Calvesbert.

The annual Boxing Day dip at Felixstowe is going to be in aid of the Evening Star's appeal for the plucky youngster who suffered 85 per cent burns in a house fire in 1998.

By Amanda Cresswell

A CHILLY dip in the North Sea by brave swimmers, is going to raise money for Terri Calvesbert.

The annual Boxing Day dip at Felixstowe is going to be in aid of the Evening Star's appeal for the plucky youngster who suffered 85 per cent burns in a house fire in 1998.

Organiser Tony Fitzpatrick said the tradition started on Easter Monday in 1983 as an exercise for Royal Air Force, and RAF Association members, to let off steam after returning from the Falklands campaign.

Mr Fitzpatrick, of Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, was one of the pilots who swam on that first occasion.

He said: "What was not thought about at the time, was that the swimming party would continue into the future and become an annual money raising event, but at a much more invigorating time of the year – Boxing Day!"

About 20 people usually brave the sea for the charity event, and their ages have ranged from 16 to 76.

All gather sponsorship and thousands of pounds have been raised over the years. Proceeds have mainly been given to the RAF's Wings Appeal to help the welfare of all current and ex-members of the RAF, but other charities have also been supported.

They include the Royal National Missions for Deep Sea Fishermen for relatives of crew who died when the fishing boat Premier sank off the Shetland Isles in 1990, and King George's Fund for Sailors which helps seafarers.

Swimmer John Rivett thanked Fludyers Hotel manager Susan Davis and appealed for more volunteers to take part.

He said the tide would be coming in at 2.15pm on Boxing Day, and the event had only ever been cancelled once before, when gales struck in 1988.

Also swimming for Terri was Tina Clark, senior branch manager at BUPA nursing agency in Ipswich.

She swam a minimum of 80 lengths of Felixstowe Leisure Centre's pool and sponsorship and staff donations raised more than £200.

Tina said: "We work in a caring profession, and seeing Terri on the TV documentary in October really touched our hearts. She is a very, very brave little girl and the press coverage has reiterated that."

Mr and Mrs Harold of West Norfolk sent £1,000.

Golfers got together at Stoke By Nayland to raise £412 during a charity day and raffle, supported by the Ideal group based in Basildon which supplies photocopying, fax and printing equipment.

Organiser and player Grant Craven, of Britannia Road, Ipswich, thanked company managing directors Ian Smith and Mike Leckenby, Bryan Stackpool of West End Leasing, and Phil Pinckard of Mortgage Eye in Colchester.

Companies attending included Ocean World Lines, Deben Transport, Jamison and Christie, R&L Transport, Omnico Plastics and Curtis Machine Tools.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Zoe Pulfer has raised £71 for the appeal by doing a sponsored silence for a day.

Zoe, from Bridge Street, Stowmarket, said: "I found it quite hard but I did manage to do it and made a lot of money from my friends and family.

"I saw the documentary on Terri and felt I needed to do something. I know Terri is a very special child and I would like to do more to help her…and hope she is a successful person in later life."

The Terri Calvesbert Appeal now stands at £95,000 and donations can be sent to Geraldine Thompson, Editor's Secretary, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

The Evening Star's appeal for this year is the Vicky Hall memorial project to build a sports pavilion in memory of the Trimley teenager who was tragically murdered in 1999, and donations can be sent to the same address.


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