Hundreds set to brave Christmas Day seaside swim in aid of Buckingham charity

Swimmers set to join freezing festive fundraiser in support of Brain Tumour Research
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Hundreds of people are expected to brave the cold and take a dip in the North Sea on Christmas Day, in support of a Buckingham charity.

The freezing festive fundraiser, organised by the Rotary Club of Southwold and District, is this year raising money for Brain Tumour Research, founded by Padbury woman Sue Farrington Smith.

This will be the 10th Christmas Day Swim, after last year's event had to become a ‘virtual’ swim, due to Covid restrictions.

Swimmers race for the North Sea on Christmas DaySwimmers race for the North Sea on Christmas Day
Swimmers race for the North Sea on Christmas Day

This year, thousands of spectators are expected to turn out at Southwold Beach to watch as hundreds of swimmers take to the water on December 25, in what has become an annual spectacle with many people choosing to wear fancy dress.

Peter Bartlett, a former president of Buckingham Rotary, is now president of the Rotary Club of Southwold and District.

Peter said: “People come from all over the country to take part, it’s absolutely amazing.

"For some, it’ll be in their diary even before they’ve completed this one - coming year on year is just what they do, and many bring their families and supporters with them as well.

Festive frolicsFestive frolics
Festive frolics

"It really is quite an occasion.

“Some go in wearing bikinis, others in Santa suits and, like with the London Marathon, there are groups of people who support one thing or another and congregate and do it together - it is incredible.

"We have volunteers in the sea to make sure everybody’s safe but, generally, people just run in, splash about a bit and come out again.

They love it – the atmosphere is amazing and there is a real buzz about it.”

Come in, the water's lovelyCome in, the water's lovely
Come in, the water's lovely

Peter chose Brain Tumour Research as his President’s Charity, after witnessing a friend’s brain tumour battle.

Brain Tumour Research spokesman Charlie Allsebrook said: “Brain tumours are more common than people think – in the UK, 16,000 people each year are faced with that devastating diagnosis.

"More needs to be done which is why we’re so grateful to the Southwold and District Rotary Club for choosing to support us as we continue to fight for a cure.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

To support the Christmas Day swim, visit or to register to take part, visit

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