Swimmers to brave chilly water for charity

While most of us are eating chocolate and watching Christmas television from the comfort of our sofas, a few insane individuals will be stripping off for a bracing swim in the frigid North Sea.

Brave-hearted souls are invited to take part in traditional Boxing Day dips in Cromer, Mundesley, Bacton and Overstrand to raise money for local good causes.

The Bacton swim is being held for the first time ever this year in aid of sick baby Ryan Wright.

The event, at 1pm, will raise money to go towards one-year-old Ryan's battle with the rare cancer neuroblastoma, explained mum Hayley, who lives in North Walsham.

The family's fundraising efforts have already raised thousands of pounds, but with potential treatments likely to cost tens of thousands, they are looking for as many ways of collecting money as possible.

In Cromer anyone who wants to take part in a pre-swim run along the beach to Overstrand and back, organised by North Norfolk Beach Runners, should gather at the pier forecourt at 10am. The swim itself will be held at 11am.

NNBR chairman Clive Hedges said: 'As we did much of the planning, temperatures were touching freezing and I question what on earth we are doing contemplating running into the sea!

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'But then again it is for charity.'

Last year's event raised nearly �4,000. This year's nominated charity will be the Benjamin Foundation.

In Mundesley, the Mundesley Voluntary Inshore Lifeboat will hold their dip at 11am, with refreshments from 10.30am.

Mary Renwick-Forster, of the lifeboat's Friends group, said: 'Come along and enjoy the fun in fancy dress if you like, there is a prize for the best adult and one for the best child.'

And in Overstrand, swimmers should arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the 11.30am dip. Gather on the prom at the bottom of the gangway, below the Cliff Top Caf�.

A bucket collection will be held for the upkeep of the Millennium Group playground.