Boxing Day dippers raise Â£23,000 after taking the plunge in Sunderland
Organisers of Sunderland's Boxing Day Dip are delighted with the reaction to its first year in its new home.
Sunderland Lions Club had feared the event might be doomed after the decision to close its former home at the Seaburn Centre as part of redevelopment of the seafront.
But bosses at the Marriott Hotel stepped in to offer a new base and this year’s Dip went ahead as usual, though with fewer people taking part than in previous years.
The event still attracted a bumper turn-out from the public, however, with the promenade and beach at Seaburn packed with spectators.
Lions’ spokeswoman Anne Fielding said the group has been delighted with the response to the new-look Dip.
“The reaction has been great,” she said.
“We have had lots of favourable comments on our Facebook site and the Seaburn Marriott have already said they are looking forward to us going back this year.
“We had 220-odd people taking part and the amount raised was more than £23,000 for charities. What we found this year was that those who did take part have raised a lot of money.
“The Lions ourselves did very well, too. We had a very good beach collection and made £1,300, because there were a lot of people there.”
Anne admitted the organisers had been uncertain about how the move would affect the event - but their worries had proved to be unfounded.
“It was a lovely day,” she said.
“We honestly did not know what to expect, but there was a really good atmosphere at the Marriott. We are quite happy with how it went.”
Registrations for this year’s Boxing Day Dip will open at the end of October as usual and the Lions’ annual presentation evening is to be held at a date yet to be fixed in March.