One of the city’s most dedicated teams of Boxing Day dippers have donated vital funds to a charity which supports bereaved families.
Each year, the Footprints in the Sand team take the plunge at Seaburn Beach to raise thousands for Wearside charities, with more than £70,000 raised over the years.
Now, the sponsorship money from their efforts at the last Boxing Day has been collected, banked and donated to 4Louis which, from its base in Pallion Industrial Estate, supplies free memory boxes to hundreds of units across the country, including maternity wards, military barracks and hospices, as well as funding other projects, such as the creation of a dedicated bereavement suite in Sunderland Royal Hospital.
It’s a cause close to the heart of charity champion Julie Reay from Barnes who heads up the Footprints in the Sand team in memory of her son Peter David Lane who died in a rope swing accident when he was just 13.
Since his death in 2002, Julie has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity through The Peter David Lane Trust Fund.
Speaking about her latest donation of £5,104 to 4Louis, she said: “My heartfelt thank you to all my amazing dippers and all who sponsored us, everyone has been so very kind and generous. And also a huge thank you to all who sponsored our fantastic T-shirts, withoutap their help and continued support we would never be able to raise such fantastic amounts. We wore their T-shirts with pride.
“I’d also like to say thanks to Keith and Darren from Total Sports for again donating the T-shirts, and all at Sunderland Lion’s Club for organising another fantastic event.”
She added: “We have chosen to support 4Louis again because I am so proud of the amazing work they do.”
4Louis was set up by Kirsty McGurrell and her family after her first son, Louis, was still born in 2009. The boxes, which contain keepsakes so that parents can remember their children whose lives were taken early, have since helped hundreds of families in the toughest of times and has sparked important conversations about the handling of grief by hospitals.