Little Mix star supports hundreds in Boxing Day dips

Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall pulled on her winter woolies to support hundreds braving the North Sea

 

Hundreds of brave souls took an icy plunge at Boxing Day dips throughout the North East.

Young and old took to the North Sea at Newbiggin, in Northumberland, Whitley Bay, South Shields and Seaburn, to raise money for charity.

And at South Shields dippers were in for a surprise when Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall turned-up to offer support.

The singer was on hand to start proceedings as she celebrated her 21st birthday.

The popstar had been due to take part in the dip but decided at last minute to stay on dry land for fears of catching a cold.

Jade, who attended the dip on Little Haven Beach with her mum and boyfriend Sam Craske, said: “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else on Boxing Day.

“It has been a lovely day so far. I wish I had gone in, I’m a bit gutted I didn’t. I was going to my mam ‘Let us go in’ but she was like ‘no, you don’t want to be ill for your birthday party’. I’m definitely doing it next year, though.

“I love the spirit of it all, everyone getting together and just having a laugh.”

Some of those taking the plunge this year included members of the Black Sheep Fitness Academy, based in South Shields.

Head of the business Lee Tiffin, 32, from South Shields, said the company was doing it in aid of local charity Cancer Connections.

He said: “This is the first time any of us have done it.

“The business has been doing lots for charity this year, we’ve raised £20,000, in fact.

“We thought the dip would finish the year off. We were all really nervous and it was freezing. I had to get completely in because I’d been sponsored a bit more to dunk my head in.”

It was a family affair for grandmother Audrey Hodgson, 62, who was braving the cold alongside daughter Andrea Scott, 39, son-in-law Simon Scott, 41, and grandchildren Rebekah, 12, and Daniel, 10.

Mrs Hodgson, from Hetton-le-Hole, said: “This is our first time doing it and it’s in aid of Cancer Connections, which is a great charity.

“My daughter has cancer and I’ve had cancer before and they were a great support so we’re giving something back.

“We’ve dressed in onesies and our pyjamas to get into the spirit. My son-in-law has even put on his best dress and wig!

“We weren’t nervous at all, just excited. It was cold but it was worth it.

“I couldn’t wait to get in and get wet.

“It’s fabulous to do something like this and it’s for charity.”

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