A NEW era for Hartlepool’s Boxing Day Dip has been hailed an amazing success by organisers after announcing the event raised more than £20,000 for scores of charities.
Hartlepool Round Table took over the running of the festive fundraiser when the Hartlepool Lions Club announced that it could not continue after 40 years in charge.
A total of 330 people of all ages took a dip in the freezing sea at Seaton Carew on Boxing Day, many of them in colourful fancy dress.
All were raising money for causes close to their hearts.
They were cheered on from the promenade by an estimated 3,000 spectators.
Allan Wise, chairman of Hartlepool Round Table, said they had set out what they hoped to achieve.
He said: “It was a big ask, taking over such a well established event from the Hartlepool Lions.
“My main objective was to ensure this event continued as it has been a favourite with the Hartlepool people.#
“I also needed to ensure it was successful and safe as well as, at the same, time make it accessible, fun and fairer. The great news is that well over £20,000 was raised for dippers’ charities by this single event.
“Also through sponsorship and a collection, we raised a further £2,000 for our charities including Hartlepool Young Carers and Hartlepool Families First.
“This was what the Round Table is all about and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved.”
Allan explained how a massive amount of work and planning goes into the dip by working with the police, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), St John Ambulance Service and Hartlepool Borough Council.
The Round Table charged everyone who took part in the dip £5, with all cash they collected in sponsorship going straight to their chosen charity.
The dip came just two months after its beer festival which, so far, has raised £13,000 for charity, with £10,000 already divided among five Hartlepool groups.
A further £3,500 is also due in match-funding from Santander bank.