Sunderland Boxing Day Dip champs limber up to take the plunge

A team of hardy dippers are getting ready to work off their mince pies with an icy plunge into the North Sea.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 11:03 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 8:18 am
Fundraiser Julie Reay and her team ahead of Boxing Day Dip

Julie Reay will lead a 50-strong team of fundraisers in this year’s Boxing Day Dip in Seaburn as part of their annual efforts to raise bumper amounts of cash for charity.

This will be the twelfth year that the Footprints in the Sand team has raced into the sea, with sponsorship for this year’s frosty feat being donated to 4Louis and Kian’s Gift.

Fundraiser Julie Reay and her team ahead of Boxing Day Dip

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The team take the plunge as part of the Peter David Lane Trust Fund which was set up by Julie after the death of her son Peter, 13, in 2003 in a ropeswing accident.

Over the years, the fund has raised tens of thousands of pounds for a host of Wearside charities with the dip becoming a highlight of their fundraising year.

Julie, from Barnes, said: This will be our twelfth year of dipping and I can’t believe the love, help and continued support I receive, it really is amazing. “My heartfelt thanks to Keith and Darren and all the staff at Total Sports who are again providing us with our T-shirts.

“I’d also like to thank all the businesses and individuals who sponsor these tops and, of course, all my wonderful, crazy dippers who will run in that ice cold North Sea on Boxing Day just to raise much-needed funds for our chosen charities.

Fundraiser Julie Reay and her team ahead of Boxing Day Dip

“For me, of course, it’s Peter’s Day and I do it for the love of him. All our shirts carry Peter’s Footprints logo on the back and I believe he will be very proud of each and everyone of us.”

4Louis is a charity that’s particularly close to Julie’s heart as it supports parents who are affected by stillbirth or neonatal death. Founded by Kirsty McGurrell from Houghton after the death of her son Louis, the charity provides memory boxes to hospitals across the country free of charge.

The second charity, Kian’s Gift, a caravan at Haggerston Castle in Northumberland where poorly children can go for a break, is jointly owned by Peter’s fund.

Money donated to Kian’s Gift goes towards the running costs of the holiday home.