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Charities to benefit from Christmas Day swim as local heroes are hailed

PUBLISHED: 12:14 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:52 04 March 2019

The Lowestoft Christmas Day Swim 2018 has been hailed a success. Photo: Mick Howes.

The Lowestoft Christmas Day Swim 2018 has been hailed a success. Photo: Mick Howes.

Archant

Organisers have hailed the success of a popular festive tradition after more than £10,000 was raised for deserving causes.

The Lowestoft Christmas Day Swim as captured from Lowestoft Lifeboat. Picture: RNLI/Nigel Lyman.The Lowestoft Christmas Day Swim as captured from Lowestoft Lifeboat. Picture: RNLI/Nigel Lyman.

Inflatable Santas, Christmas elves, bananas and superheros were among hundreds who took the plunge at the 41st official Lowestoft Christmas Day swim.

With more than 300 registered swimmers taking part, crowds estimated at around 3,000 people cheered on the brave participants as they took part in the festive plunge into the sea.

Cheers! Celebrations at the Lowestoft Christmas Day Swim 2018. Photo: Mick Howes.Cheers! Celebrations at the Lowestoft Christmas Day Swim 2018. Photo: Mick Howes.

The swim, which is organised and supported by Sentinel Leisure Trust, HM Coastguard, The Lowestoft Volunteer Lifeguard Corps, the Lowestoft Lions, St John Ambulance and the Claremont Pier, saw the town come together as swimmers – many wearing fancy dress costumes – braved the cold as they ran into the chilly North Sea.

Since Sentinel took over the organisation of the event, more than £50,000 has been raised for local charities. And with 100pc of funds raised from the event that be shared equally amongst the chosen charities and causes.

That will see £10,616 shared between Lowestoft Thursday Club, Warren Association, Waveney Enterprises Craft Workshop, Women Like Me, Topcats, Surviving United, Brian Gallagher Football Fund (SLT split representative), Changing Lives/Making Memories (SLT split representative), Lowestoft Lions, Lowestoft Lifeguard Volunteer Corps and St John Ambulance (local branch).

A presentation evening will be held on March 22 at Waterlane Leisure Centre to present the beneficiaries with their personalised cheques.

Stuart Everett, managing director of Sentinel Leisure Trust, said: “Since the 2015 swim, we have raised over £50,000 for local charities.

“I must thank all involved who generously donated their time and resource to be able to put on this event each year – such as The Claremont Pier and HM Coastguard who ask for nothing in return but to see this great event happen each year.

“The ‘on the day team’, all volunteering on Christmas Day, once again did an exceptional job including an early start and delayed Christmas dinner to ensure the event runs smoothly.

“I would also like to thank all of the ‘Local Heroes’ who took part as they, together with the generous donations from the spectators, raised over £10,000 on the day this year.”

Matt Stebbings, physical activity and health manager at Sentinel Leisure Trust, said: “The money will help very valuable local causes.

“A big thanks to all those that give up their Christmas morning to help me with the swim and to the representatives who help to collect the vital money on the day.”

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