The Story Behind ‘The Macmillan White Christmas Dip’:
The White Christmas Dip started in 2008 and began on Christmas day morning when John White, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, was visiting some of his family, who all decided to join the Spartans in their Annual Christmas morning swim. John White, along with son, also named John White and nephews Tommy Baker, Harry Baker, Berni Mendieta and Joe Hardwick found some old fancy dress outfits and decided to partake in fancy dress.
They arrived at Boscombe Pier ready to charge into the sea, to find there was nobody around. After waiting for 30 minutes, they took to the cold waters joined by Andy Corbett who was cycling along the promenade, for their very own Christmas day swim. After the success of the first Christmas dip, Tommy decided, with his family that taking to the sea was a fitting way to see the whole family on Christmas day, and a good idea to get some fresh air on a day that was usually spent indoors.
In 2009 they took to the sea on Christmas morning again with more of their family and friends, but saw an opportunity to raise money for charity, whilst taking part in an activity that brought the whole family together on Christmas Day.
The White Christmas Dip had been born and continues to grow year on year. At 10:30am on Christmas morning 2012 over 120 bathers took to the water with many more spectators including family, friends and the general public on hand to cheers them on during their Christmas morning swim.
2013 saw in excess of 350 "dippers" braved the hailstorm and joined in the fun, not only was it great fun but also helped raise £25,000 for Macmillan Caring Locally, not only was the beach lined with participants, but the promenade also filled up quickly with around 3000 spectators.
In 2014 we saw a big increase in the amount of dippers that started their Christmas Day differently by charging into the sea in fancy dress. Over 600 people began the day by charging into the sea in the sun and the crowds followed, with Boscombe Pier & the promenade filled with 6000 spectators!
Fast forward to 2019 and the Dip broke the thousand milestone, and by some way with over 1,200 dippers taking part and raising an incredible £50,000. To date the dip has raised a staggering £250,000.
In 2020, the 13th year, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel our yearly tradition. It hurt! Not only did we really miss seeing everyone’s smiling faces charging into the sea, but it was devastating not to be able to raise money for Macmillan Caring Locally.
We are delighted to be back this year and are looking forward to seeing everyone again, we really hope you all take the bull by the horns (fancy dress idea!) and get your friends and families signed up and really push your fundraising, we have a year to make up for. Let’s give everyone at Macmillan Caring Locally a huge boost over the festive period and present them with a substantial amount of fundraising!