White Christmas Dip cancelled

Christmas Dip supporters urged to “Donate don’t Dip”

The two Bournemouth cousins who organise the popular Macmillan White Christmas Dip, say they have no choice but to cancel the event – for the first time in 13 years. Tom Baker and John White said they are “deeply upset”, but that the current COVID-19 restrictions make organising the charity sea plunge “impossible”.

The annual Dip routinely attracts around 1200 participants of all ages, many in fancy dress, who brave the icy sea close to Boscombe Pier to remember loved ones they have lost and to raise money for Macmillan Caring Locally which supports the Macmillan Unit in Christchurch.

The event has raised £250k to date for the hospice and was set to make £50k this year for Brick by Brick, its new building appeal.

Tom and John are now urging ‘dippers’ to do the next best thing and donate their Dip entrance fee direct to the Unit. The cousins held the first Macmillan White Christmas Dip in 2008, after John’s dad (also called John) was supported by the Unit following a cancer diagnosis.

Tom said: “We are both deeply upset to have to cancel this year’s event. As well as being a huge fundraiser for the hospice it has become such a well-loved event which really brings the community together. Unfortunately, as with many fundraising events, the guidelines around the Covid epidemic mean it’s simply impossible to hold it”.

“We only hope that the huge number of loyal supporters of the Dip will continue to show their solidarity by donating what they would have spent on entering, to the Unit. We may not be able to actually get together in the water this year, but we can contribute to its work in supporting so many families.”

Neal Williams, Trust Secretary of Macmillan Caring Locally, said: “The cancellation of the Christmas Dip is a huge blow, both to John and Tom and also to the charity. They are our single, biggest donors and the incredible amount of money they have raised for us over the years has enabled us to make many improvements to patient facilities at the Macmillan Unit, as well as supporting our Brick by Brick appeal last year”.

“I, like so many of my colleagues, family and friends, will be hugely disappointed not to be in fancy dress at the beach this Christmas Day, running into the icy sea for a dip in memory of our loved ones. But I will be looking forward to when it can be held again safely and hoping that people will still do what they can to support the Macmillan Unit in the meantime, by making a donation.”

To donate to Macmillan Caring Locally go here