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Macmillan White Christmas Dip 2023

We had a really good turn out of over 1,100 people running in to the sea and thousands more coming along to watch and have raised over £22,000 so far, a great result, thank you!!
Barry Wilson - Events & Media Manager

A Short History: The White Christmas Dip

On Christmas Day morning of 2008 John White, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer was visiting some of his family when they all decided to join the Bournemouth Spartans in their annual Christmas morning swim. Unlike the Spartans winter swimming team, the family decided they would partake in the swim in fancy dress, and as such John White along with his son also named John White, nephews Tommy Baker, Harry Baker, Berni Mendieta and Joe Hardwick made their way to Boscombe Pier.

The family arrived on the beach ready to charge into the sea to find there was nobody around. After waiting for 30 minutes, they decided to take to the cold water regardless, only joined by a passing cyclist, Andy Corbett who was also inspired by the idea of a Christmas morning dip. After the success of this event, cousins Tommy and John decided that taking to the sea was a fitting way to see the whole family on Christmas Day, and a fantastic way of getting some fresh air on a day that was usually spent indoors.

Over the years the White Christmas Dip has been steadily and extensively expanding, bringing more people out of the house, together and connected by the exhilarating challenge of dipping into the ocean on Christmas day, often sporting Father Christmas outfits or other amusing costumes. The Southbourne Surf Lifesaving Club has since become an important contributor to the event, ensuring the safety of all participants in and out of the water.

As the White Christmas Dip has grown, both in the number of participants and in spectators, a more extensive set up has been required. After one year of particularly bad weather, Seventa Events kindly donated containers to provide suitable staging and office space so those managing the growing requirements and mounting success of the event were shielded from the elements.

With the number of spectators lining the promenade to watch “dippers” charge into the sea surpassing the thousands, the need to provide some support and sustenance for those involved was also becoming more evident. It was a natural decision for the White Christmas Dip team to partner with Rossi International who donate their time, hot drinks and food in return for a donation to Macmillan Caring Locally.

The foundations of the White Christmas Dip were firmly rooted with its strong presence in the conscious of the Bournemouth community, a dedicated administrative team and provisions kindly donated on the day of the dip each year through various collaborations with local, like-minded organisations and volunteers. From here, “Dippy” the seal was brought to life as the event’s mascot, making appearances on social media, video campaigns and as a significant presence on the day of the event at Boscombe Pier annually.

To date, the White Christmas Dip has raised over £300,000 for Macmillan Caring Locally, which is used to provide much-needed palliative care for patients with advanced, progressive or incurable illnesses, and support for their families during incredibly difficult times. Over the past 13 years the dip has evolved from a spontaneous family activity to a key event in the Bournemouth community and festive season, with over 1000 “dippers” charging into the sea annually and substantially more spectators, supporters and donators involved in the process.  The White Christmas Dip is proud to be Macmillan Caring Locally’s biggest annual fundraiser and is a date in the diary for the whole family this Christmas!

Don't fancy a dip but want to help? You can also donate directly HERE...

If each "dipper" raised just £50 in sponsorship we would raise over £50,000 for Macmillan Caring Locally in one Christmas morning, which is a life changing amount of money for those in need across Dorset. We ask that each participant make a small donation, and would encourage “dippers” to seek sponsorship from friends, family, employers and businesses by using Just Giving HERE..., where all proceeds are directly paid to Macmillan Caring Locally.

We really hope you all take the bull by the horns (fancy dress idea!) and get your friends and families signed up, along with a fundraising page to make a positive difference this Christmas in our community.

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