Dippers honoured at awards night

ORGANISERS of Hartlepool’s Boxing Day Dip charity drive signed off after 40 years at their final presentation night.

Teams and individuals who raised thousands of pounds for different causes were presented with shields, plaques and trophies for their efforts by the organisers Hartlepool Lions Club.

The dip marked the 40th and final one to be staged by the Lions.

The awards night was fittingly held at the event’s original venue, the Staincliffe Hotel, in Seaton Carew.

Numbers on Boxing Day last year were down on recent times, when 266 people went into the sea, but between them they still raised £19,006.

Mike Dowson, president of Hartlepool Lions, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank past and present dippers for their support over the past 40 years. It is a fitting end to the Lions involvement in the dip that the Staincliffe Hotel should host the first and last dip.

“During this period, over £415,000 has been raised for various charities and organisations and the Lions have donated many thousands of pounds to local causes.

“I hope that dippers will support Hartlepool Round Table, who will take over full responsibility for the dip this year.”

The shield for the team that raised the most money went to the Hosanna House Angels who raised £1,873.50 for HCPT Pilgrimage Trust which supports disabled children.

Paul McManus raised the most of any individual with £2,475 for Seaton Carew Rugby Club – a dip record.

David Young was presented with the Frances William Osborne memorial shield as the oldest dipper at 69.

And representatives from St John Ambulance, Hartlepool RNLI and Coastguards were each presented with an engraved plaque from the Lions club in recognition of their support and attendance at every dip.

Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, vice chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council, and his consort, Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, presented cheques to dippers who raised money for more than 30 different causes.

The Lions are appealing to 10 teams who have still not yet paid their sponsorship money into the bank, despite numerous requests, to do so.