Sunderland dippers limbering up for annual North Sea plunge

One of Sunderland's loudest and proudest Boxing Day Dip teams are getting ready to take the plunge.

Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:22 am
Julie Reay and her Boxing Day 2017 dip team
Julie Reay and her Boxing Day 2017 dip team

Charity champion Julie Reay will once again lead her band of merry dippers into the North Sea on December 26.

They’ll be raising money for the Peter David Lane Trust Fund, which was set up in memory of Julie’s son Peter who died in a tragic rope swing accident in Galleys Gill.

Julie Reay (front centre) and her fellow fund-raisers are Boxing Day Dip regulars

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Changes have been made to the dip this year because of the closure of the Seaburn Centre as part of the seafront redevelopment.

The beloved event’s future was thrown into doubt until a new home was found at the Marriott Hotel in Queen’s Parade where dippers will meet to register and warm up after the event this year.

Julie says although the venue change has cut the name of participants due to less space, she is as excited as ever to take part.

She said: “This year we will leave from the Marriott Hotel and due to these changes numbers have been cut and teams have a maximum of 20 dippers. Of course this has been hard for me, but I am thrilled and very proud to be putting my team together in memory of my precious son Peter.

Julie Reay (front centre) and her fellow fund-raisers are Boxing Day Dip regulars

“Our team, although much smaller than previous years, will still be named Footprints in the Sand and all money raised will be donated to a charity close to our hearts, 4Louis.”

Set up by Houghton mum Kirsty McGurrell and her family, the 4Louis charity provides memory boxes free of charge to hospitals so that bereaved parents can treasure keepsakes of their little ones.

They also provide hospitals with cuddle cots, a specialist piece of equipment designed to help parents spend longer with their deceased children, as well as supporting hospitals with funding for bereavement and counselling services.

Julie added: “I want to send a special thank you to Keith and Darren and all staff from Total Sports who again have donated our fabulous T-shirts. I’d also like to thank our amazing sponsors, with their help and support and generous donations we aim to raise a fantastic amount to help this wonderful charity.”

The closing date for entries into the Boxing Day Dip is December 12 and there are still places left. To enter contact [email protected] or telephone Jim Nicol on Tel. 0191 5654207.