For ten-year-old Sampson Ellis, Christmas Day has been the day where he heads down to Felixstowe in the morning to watch his family take part in the Christmas Day Dip to raise money for the charity that cared for his grandparents. Over the last few years he’s wanted to join in but has never been old enough.
This year, St Elizabeth Hospice has lowered the age of those who can take part, meaning that he can now take the icy plunge with his mum in what has become their Christmas tradition.
“I was four years old when my Grandad died at the St Elizabeth Hospice.” Sampson said.
“I remember the nurses and the doctors looking after him very well. I was always made to feel welcome and on one occasion mummy took me there at 8.30pm at night because I would not sleep without a grandad kiss. When we arrived there all the lights were dim and they made me hot chocolate before we turned around and went home.”
Sampson also remembers spending time with his grandad at the hospice, most notably in the garden where he would kick a football around or feed the fish while his grandad watched on from the window. He also recalls having space to play board games.
“This year my Grandma died as well. Before she went into hospital I remember meeting with Hilary, a hospice at home nurse, who came to visit Grandma to make sure we had everything we needed to look after her.
“Since my Grandad died, the hospice has always been a special place for me. I always think of the lovely people who looked after my family and all the others who are very poorly.”
Sampson has wanted to do the Christmas Day Dip for the last two years and is excited that this year he can finally take the plunge. “Not only do I hope to raise some money,” he said, “but this will also help my family over a difficult period. I am nervous about how cold it will be but I am going to be brave, just like my grandparents were.”
So far, Sampson and his mum have raised around £300 for St Elizabeth Hospice as part of this year’s Christmas Day Dip.
Sampson will join hundreds of others on Christmas morning on the seafront at Felixstowe to take part in the Christmas Day Dip, raising money for St Elizabeth Hospice. For further details about the Christmas Day Dip or to book your place click here, call 01473 723600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org