Sunderland Boxing Day dip team get ready to raise thousands for 4Louis charity

Julie Reay (front centre) with fellow Boxing Day Dip participants in their 2018 t-shirts. Picture by FRANK REID
Julie Reay (front centre) with fellow Boxing Day Dip participants in their 2018 t-shirts. Picture by FRANK REID

One of the most dedicated Boxing Day Dip teams in the city are getting ready to take the plunge once more.

With charity champion Julie Reay at the helm, the Footprints in the Sand team have raised more than £65,000 over the years for worthy causes across Wearside with their annual dip.

Julie Reay (53) in her 2018 Boxing Day Dip t-shirt. Picture by FRANK REID

Julie Reay (53) in her 2018 Boxing Day Dip t-shirt. Picture by FRANK REID

The team take part in the annual spectacle in Seaburn in memory of Julie’s son Peter David Lane who died in a rope swing accident when he was just 13.

This will be the 14th year the team have taken on the frosty feat and they will once again be dipping in aid of the 4Louis charity.

Julie from Barnes said: “This will be the 14th your of dipping and it’s still as special as the first one we ever did.”

The 4Louis charity, which was set up by Houghton mum Kirsty McGurrell, helps bereaved parents with its memory boxes which are given to grieving families at hospitals and units across the country who have suffered stillbirth or neonatal death.

Julie and her team at last year's dip

Julie and her team at last year's dip

They also provide hospitals with cuddle cots. Also known as a cold cots, this specialised piece of equipment is designed to keep baby cool to allow parents to spend up to 72 hours with their loved one. They are designed to fit in to a Moses basket to keep the environment homely at such a traumatic time.

Other invaluable services provided by 4Louis include supporting hospitals with funding for bereavement and counselling courses.

Julie, who has supported 4Louis for a number of years, said: “4Louis is a cause close to my heart. I have seen first hand the amazing work they do and I’m very proud to be supporting them again this year.”

Julie posed with team members at Total Sports in Hendon who print the team’s t-shirts every year.

She said: “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, and of course our amazing sponsors. With their help and support and generous donations, we aim to raise a fantastic amount to help this wonderful charity.”