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Christmas Dip cancelled – but Easter sea plunge instead

PUBLISHED: 19:00 08 November 2020

Ali Buck, Sue Garrod, Katie Garrod and Grace Buck at last year's Felixstowe Christmas Day Dip  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ali Buck, Sue Garrod, Katie Garrod and Grace Buck at last year's Felixstowe Christmas Day Dip Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

It’s part of Christmas Day for hundreds of families, but this year it will not include one of the biggest festive events – because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of people took the plunge for the annual St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day dip in 2019  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of people took the plunge for the annual St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day dip in 2019 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

St Elizabeth Hospice has decided that its annual December 25 “dip” at Felixstowe cannot go ahead, but it is aiming to organise an Easter Dip instead.

More than 500 people usually taking part in the dip in the North Sea – raising £40,000 for the work of the hospice improving life for those living with progresssive and life-limiting illnesses through palliative care.

Dressed in an array of colourful costumes, they charge into the chilly waters opposite Charles Manning’s Amusment Park in Sea Road while their friends and families cheer them on from the promenade and beach.

The hospice said: “The Christmas Day Dip is a well-loved event not only for the participants that take part, but for the families that visit to watch, as well as volunteers and staff. We know that joining us for the Dip is a tradition for some people and we are aware of the importance of it to everyone, which is why we are so sad to share the news that we shall not be organising the Christmas Day Dip this year.

Chris and Catrina Reeve, Katie Price and Lucy Springate as the Incredibles at the 2019 St Elizabeth Christmas Day Dip at Felixstowe Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChris and Catrina Reeve, Katie Price and Lucy Springate as the Incredibles at the 2019 St Elizabeth Christmas Day Dip at Felixstowe Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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“We had hoped that the restrictions caused by the pandemic may have been improved by now, so that the Dip could go ahead in a slightly different format to normal, but sadly recent news does not give us the confidence that it will be safe to put the event on with only 12 weeks to go.”

The rule of only six people gathering together – expected to return after the latest lockdown – was also making planning for the 10th annual event difficult.

Organisers added: “We know so many of you will be disappointed that we are not putting on the event but we must stress that the hospice puts a lot of safety provisions in place on the day and we strongly advise against visiting Felixstowe to undertake the Dip on your own.”

Fundraisers take the plunge for the annual St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day dip  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFundraisers take the plunge for the annual St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day dip Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The charity though is now looking at planning an Easter Day Dip for 2021.

Preparations are in the early stages but it is hoped people will sign up to help raise the same amount as is traditionally raised at Christmas.

The idea will be for people to dress as bunnies, chicks or Easter eggs instead of puddings or turkeys.

Full details will be revealed soon.


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