Julie's festive dip raises funds and awareness in memory of mum
- Credit: Stacey Iannuzzi
A daughter braved the cold sea at Felixstowe on Christmas Day to raise money in memory of her much-loved mum.
Julie Theobald, who lives in the town, took the plunge to support Suffolk Mind in tribute to her mother, Carol O'Grady, who passed away in September aged 70 after a short illness.
She and her friend Stacey Iannuzzi went ahead with their sponsored dip, cheered on by friends and family, despite cold temperatures and high winds.
"It was quite blowy, so we were very careful and didn't go very far in," Julie said.
"We wanted to make sure we completed it because we were raising money for charity. It was really cold but we were glad to have done it."
Julie, 48, said her mum had a long struggle with mental health after suffering family bereavements, losing her son Michael and later her husband Peter.
"We have all at some point struggled with how we feel, maybe from bereavement, anxiety, depression, low self esteem, no doubt the list goes on, she said.
- 1 Take a look inside 15th Century farmhouse near Ipswich up for sale
- 2 Jailed in Suffolk: The county's criminals locked up in the last week
- 3 Missing 13-year-old boy from Hadleigh found safe
- 4 BrewDog, The Botanist and other reasons to be positive about Ipswich town centre
- 5 Tattingstone 'suitcase murder': 'Never too late' say police on 55th anniversary
- 6 Empty Ipswich office block could become new flats
- 7 Take a look inside new Ipswich restaurant that makes pizza the 'proper way'
- 8 Is Ipswich really England's oldest town? Experts give their view
- 9 Interactive map reveals the Suffolk postcodes with the highest Covid rates
- 10 Ipswich MP Tom Hunt speaks of 'disgust' at Downing Street parties
"We as a family found it incredibly hard to give Mum all the support she needed, it was very difficult to get the right help quickly and her mental health over the years was bad."
Carol, from Trimley, helped many people through her work for Age Concern, running the popular tearoom which used to be based in Ipswich town centre.
"She loved it there," her daughter said, recalling how she would pop in for one of her Mum's famous cheese scones. "She loved baking and helping people."
In her memory, Julie wants to raise awareness of Suffolk Mind, and let people know that help is at hand.
"No one should struggle alone, and Mind are there to help," she said. "I wanted to get some awareness out there."
The swimming challenge helped to distract her over Christmas and she now plans to do more events for the charity over the coming months.
So far, she and Stacey have raised more than £470, after setting an initial target of £100, but they want to raise more. To support the fundraising, visit Julie's JustGiving page.