Fundraisers brave the icy waters

Eastbourne mayor Carolyn Heaps with some of the Boxing Day swimmers
Eastbourne mayor Carolyn Heaps with some of the Boxing Day swimmers

THE COMMUNITY rallied together over Christmas and braved the cold sea water to raise funds for good causes.

The fun began on Christmas Day with staff from St Wilfrid’s Hospice being joined by volunteers for a bracing dip in the sea.

Crowds met at the beach opposite the Langham Hotel and the fundraisers were cheered on by supporters.

The manager of the Langham Hotel joined them and warm refreshments were supplied by the venue afterwards.

A number of staff also took the plunge on Boxing Day and joined Eastbourne mayor Carolyn Heaps who was braving the waters to help boost the charity coffers of the Tuesday O’Hara Fund.

It is the mayor’s chosen charity and helps young people with cancer and leukaemia.

Cllr Heaps, who would like to thank Travelodge for letting swimmers use their facilities to change and shower, said, “It was great fun, it wasn’t as cold as I thought it was going to be but when I went under the water it was a bit cold.

“It was lovely to see so many people there and those that supported us.

“There were friends and family of the Tuesday O’Hara Fund there with people supporting her memory and it’s a really good way of putting the charity on the map.”

And on the same day members of Willingdon Football Club who traditionally go for a swim managed to reach its target of 50 people to join them.

The event was extra special this year as the club celebrated its 25th anniversary.

John Shepherd, from the club, said, “The swim went very well - we were lucky with the weather as I gather that the sea was very rough on Christmas Day.

“We got our 50 swimmers but only just - about eight swimmers joined in the Big Dip at the last minute!

“They had changed on the beach so thanks for your support.

“It was a great success and we should have raised a lot of money for the Alzheimer’s local branch.”