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Brave young Ellie named Ipswich Town’s ‘Community Champion’ after charity dip in the North Sea

PUBLISHED: 14:21 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 18:30 20 February 2018

Triumphant Ellie Kirk just before her big dip, which has now let to Ipswich Town FC making her a Community Champion. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Triumphant Ellie Kirk just before her big dip, which has now let to Ipswich Town FC making her a Community Champion. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Suffolk girl who braved the North Sea for the hospice that cared for her great-grandmother has been named Ipswich Town FC’s “Community Champion”.

Ellie pictured with younger sister Lucy who,has been helping her practise shaking hands for the big game.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNEllie pictured with younger sister Lucy who,has been helping her practise shaking hands for the big game. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ellie Kirk,10, raised more than £1,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice after organising her own “Valentine’s Day Dip” in Felixstowe - having been unable to attend the charity’s Christmas swim due to a rare illness.

ITFC was so impressed by Ellie’s efforts that it has invited her to lead the players out onto the pitch at Portman Road before their home game against Sheffield United on Saturday, March 10.

Ellie’s mum Cath Bright said her daughter was “so excited” to be invited.

“She said she doesn’t want to know how many people will be watching her as it will be too scary,” Ms Bright added.

Ellie Kirk with her great-grandmother Ellen Ward. Picture: FAMILYEllie Kirk with her great-grandmother Ellen Ward. Picture: FAMILY

“But as she practised walking up and down the lounge last night, shaking her sister’s hand, I think the excitement will get her through.

“She is going to talk at her Scouts group this Friday to earn her Fundraising badge too, which means a lot to her.”

ITFC marketing and PR officer Dan Palfrey said: “We came across Ellie’s heart-warming story and immediately thought that Ellie would be a deserving Community Champion and epitomises our scheme. We look forward to welcoming Ellie and her family to Portman Road.”

To donate to Ellie’s fundraising total visit her Justgiving page.

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