Jade Thirlwall and dozens of fundraisers brave the freezing cold for Cancer Connections Boxing Day Dip

Jade Thirlwall joined dozens of hardy souls to brave the North Sea for Cancer Connection’s Boxing Day Dip.

Spectators lined up at Littlehaven Beach, in South Shields, to cheer on the dippers.

After a year off due to Covid, charity boss Deborah Roberts was excited to welcome back the crowds – and the much-needed cash the popular event brings in to support the charity’s activities across South Tyneside.

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"We normally raise between £15,000 and £20,000, so the Dip has been a big miss and we are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome everyone back this year,” she said.

"It has been a fantastic day and we have had has been a really good turn-out, even though the weather has been so bad.

"We want to thank everybody who helps to make the dip happen – without people like T3 security, the Littlehaven Hotel, the volunteer life brigade and South Tyneside Homes, it would not be possible.

"And most of all we want to thank the public for their support.”

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Dipper rush to the seaDipper rush to the sea
Dipper rush to the sea
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Paralympic gold medallist Josef Craig and Little Mix star Jade were also on hand.

Jade, who was celebrating her 29th birthday, is a regular at the event.

“I have been involved with Cancer Connections since I was a teenager – I used to sing at all of their fund-raisers, so it has been a big part of my life,” he said.

"I feel very honoured that I can that since becoming famous, I can use that to raise the profile of Cancer Connections.

Jade Thirlwall celebrates her birthday with her nephew Karl, nineJade Thirlwall celebrates her birthday with her nephew Karl, nine
Jade Thirlwall celebrates her birthday with her nephew Karl, nine
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“Over the years, I have had two family members pass away from cancer who have relied on support from Cancer Connections, so it just started out very organically but I have been so grateful for their help.

“They are a vital charity in the North East.”

The team behind South Tyneside music festival Rosiefest handed over a cheque for more than £3,000 before the dip;

Covid has put paid to live events, but fund-raising has continued on-line.

Organiser Natalie Lascelles has been taking part in the dip for years and was delighted to be back : “It is just a lovely, friendly atmosphere,” she said.

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