Hundreds raised for hospice during yacht club dip

Olivia Jones, Joseph Karauzum, Maya Smyth, Robbie O'Donnell and Abbie Devine taking part in the New Year dip at County Antrim Yacht Club.  INCT 01-731-CON (Photo by Agnes Golec)
Olivia Jones, Joseph Karauzum, Maya Smyth, Robbie O'Donnell and Abbie Devine taking part in the New Year dip at County Antrim Yacht Club. INCT 01-731-CON (Photo by Agnes Golec)

The annual New Year’s Day dip at County Antrim Yacht Club in Whitehead has raised hundreds of pounds for Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

Over 40 swimmers of all ages took to the Irish Sea to raise money during the popular event, organised by local woman Maria Jones.

It is the second year the charity swim has taken place, with hopes of making it a recurring fixture for the seaside town.

Participants gathered at the club following the dip to warm up with some hot food and drink, with a raffle and tombola generating further funds.

Over £500 was collected at the event, with the total expected to rise as sponsorship totals come in. “As Maria is a child minder, the Children’s Hospice is a charity that is very close to her heart,” said Maria’s husband Jeremy Jones, chairman of Whitehead Community Association. “We were delighted with how the day went and we want to thank all those who took part, and well as the yacht club for providing its facilities to both members and non-members.”

The New Year swim is the latest in a series of Whitehead fundraisers for the Children’s Hospice.

Last year, the town’s summer festival adopted the hospice as its designated charity, raising thousands of pounds during the ‘Operation Purple’ campaign.