Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall joins crowds at annual Cancer Connections Boxing Day Dip in South Shields
Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall joined crowds taking part in the annual Boxing Day Dip for Cancer Connections.
The singer, who has taken part in the event at Littlehaven Beach since it started 12 years ago, was joined by fellow charity patron- paralympic gold medallist Josef Craig MBE, in braving the elements to raise funds for the charity.
Jade, who ran into the into the sea at with nephew Karl Thirlwall, said she was taking part in memory of her nana Pam.
She said: “I have been doing it for 12 years now, so I have done every one.
“I do it every year on my birthday to raise as much money as we can for the charity.
“I am doing it in memory of my nana Pam and auntie Norma who died of cancer. Cancer Connections was a great help to them.”
Jade, who was celebrating her 26th birthday on Boxing Day, also praised the work of the charity calling Cancer Connections ‘incredible’ for the way it helps people and families across South Tyneside.
Around 150 people took part in the dip, which raises around Â£15,000 each year.
Cancer Connections co-founder Deborah Roberts said: “Jade, my brother Jeff Rundle and my nephew Daniel Rundle, are the only three who have done it every years since we started.
“It is one of our biggest fundraisers, raising around Â£15,0000.
“I am delighted that this many people take the time out at Christmas to support people less fortunate.
“We can’t do what we do without the support of the public so we really appreciate it.
“Thanks go to Shields Gazette, South Shields Volunteer Lifeguards, T3 Security, South Tyneside Hospital Radio, South Tyneside Council, Little Haven Hotel and all of our amazing dippers.”
Charity patron Josef Craig said: “I have been coming along for five years and I love it.
“It is a charity close to my heart and the hearts of many other people.”
On his coaching career he said: “It is going great I am teaching the next generation to help them with their goals.”
Stewart Temple, 89, was taking part in the Cancer Connections dip for the second time.
Stewart who has completed 21 Great North Runs, said: “It was cold but very enjoyable.
“I think this is going to be my last one.”
Further along the beach more than 100 people took part in the dip for St Clare’s Hospice.
Kate Wood, community and events fundraiser at St Clare’s Hospice, said: “We are aiming to raise around Â£6,000 and are really pleased to see so many people turn out to support the hospice.”
The Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Ken Stephenson also took part in both dips. He said: “It’s good to be here to support both charities.”