SLIDESHOW: Taking a dip for young Bradley

DOZENS of colourful characters braved the North Sea in support of a youngster battling cancer.

Sesame Street characters, a giant banana and Spiderman were among those splashing into the waves off Hartlepool yesterday.

Their valiant efforts were part of a series of events organised to raise money for the hospital caring for Bradley Lowery.

At just 20 months old, he has been struck down with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that affects less than 100 children in the UK each year.

Around 90 people took the plunge yesterday in a range of fancy dress costumes as dozens more watched on.

They were led down Seaton Carew beach by Sammy Jo Woods, 25, who is close friends with Bradley’s parents Gemma and Carl.

COME ON IN: The dippers at Seaton

COME ON IN: The dippers at Seaton

Dee Tyler, CLIC Sargent area fundraising manager for the North-East, said: “This is a fantastic and novel way to raise funds, and we are extremely grateful to Sammy Jo and her friends.”

Bradley, who lives in Blackhall, is receiving treatment at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) after he was diagnosed with the condition on January 8.

Bradley has a tumour above his left kidney in the adrenal gland, which is so large that it takes up most of his stomach and has spread to the lymph nodes and lungs.

Villagers are rallying around Bradley and his family, and have organised a number of events to raise funds for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, based at the RVI.

Other groups getting behind the fundraising effort include Blackhall Rocks Residents’ Association youth group, which held a sponsored litter pick earlier this month.

• More pictures in tomorrow’s Mail