Charity urges community to bring out their bathers and make a splash for life-limited children

Tŷ Hafan, the children’s hospice in Wales, will next year be taking over the reins of a 35 year old tradition, and asking people to take the plunge to help life-limited children and their families.

The annual Barry Island New Year’s Day Swim will be taking place as usual in the icy waters off the town’s Whitmore Bay but this year has been renamed the Barry Island New Year’s Day Dip and participants will be raising much needed funds for Tŷ Hafan children’s hospice where a dedicated care team helps families make a short life a full life.

The New Year’s Day Swim began as a light hearted dare between Barry man, Rob Salter and  his friends, 35 years ago, but over the years has grown in fame and popularity and now hundreds of people brave the chilly channel waters on 1st January, watched by hundreds more spectators from the relative warmth of the promenade.

“We’re delighted to be adopting the swim – now the dip – and we thank the amazing Rob Salter for handing over the reins to us”, said Sara Webber, Associate Director at Tŷ Hafan.

“We really hope we can continue to grow this wonderful event whilst raising much needed funds that will help families make the most of the time they have together” she added.

Sara explained: “The format of the day will be much the same as previous years.  Participants can either pre-register free of charge for the event by visiting our website, or they can register on the day at one of our welcome points, located at the Western end of the promenade.

“Registration is free, but we will be asking everyone for an optional donation of £5 which will entitle them to a medal and a hot drink. We’d be really grateful if they could also try to fundraise for Tŷ Hafan in advance.    Visit our website to find out how”.

She continued:  “Check in opens at 11 am and everyone gets in the water at 12 noon.  Dippers can come along in fancy dress if they’d like to, and there will be a prize for the best fancy dress costume.

“Before they get in the water, dippers can take part in a warm up provided by Barry based Cardio Core Fitness.  Again, we’ll be supported by the wonderful Whitmore Bay Lifeguards who will be watching over the dippers and providing first aid.

“The usual ‘rules’ will apply – to fully comply with tradition, you need to run in, dunk under 3 times and run out, then repeat 2 more times but we don’t make you do this – simply entering the water is brave in our opinion”.

Sara said:  “It costs over £4million each year to run our hospice, providing round the clock specialist care 365 days a year and to deliver our broad community programmes.  But only 4% of our funding comes from the Government.  So we simply couldn’t provide our lifeline services without the kindness and generosity of people like those taking part in the dip.  We are hugely grateful to them”.

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Nathan Spackman

Nathan is the Operations Director and one half of Vale Breakfast on Bro Radio. You'll hear him reading local news, hosting at local events and presenting our facebook live videos.