A familiar festive figure has been spotted in Felixstowe as registration for one of St Elizabeth Hospice’s most popular fundraising events opens.
Santa Claus himself was spotted on the beach in front of Manning’s Amusements, dipping his toes in the already chilly water in preparation for the St Elizabeth Hospice Christmas Day Dip.
At 10am on Christmas morning, hundreds of Hospice supporters will take a dip in the cold North Sea, raising thousands of pounds for the local charity.
The event is now in its eleventh year, having been started in 2003 by Hospice supporter Peter Burt. The original event took place in Mr Burt’s swimming pool in his back garden, with just seven people participating.
Since then, the event has grown and grown, with hundreds of brave Hospice supporters running into the sea on Christmas Day. Last year alone, around 400 fundraisers did the dip, raising nearly £40,000 to help support local Hospice care.
Joanne Rodger, Events and Challenges Fundraiser at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “The Christmas Day Dip is an incredibly fun event. We’re looking to make an even bigger splash this year as we are celebrating the Hospice’s 25th Anniversary.
“We wouldn’t be able to provide our services without the continued support of the local community, and sponsored events like the Christmas Day Dip are a hugely important source of income for us.
“Taking a dip in the sea on Christmas Day is an exhilarating experience, as well as being hugely memorable and very rewarding. Many supporters take part in festive fancy dress – we’ve seen penguins, reindeer – even Christmas trees take the plunge!
“It’s a great way to blow away the cobwebs and help raise much needed funds for the Hospice at the same time.”
Registration is just £5 per person, or £10 with an exclusive T-shirt. All Christmas Day Dippers receive a souvenir medal for their bravery.
You can register in advance here, or on Christmas morning from 8.30am. All participants are asked to raise sponsorship, you can set up an online fundraising page at www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/giving to help raise money.