Time for a bracing dip in sea!

Organiser Barry Whittaker (right) leads last year's New Year dippers to the water
Organiser Barry Whittaker (right) leads last year's New Year dippers to the water
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Brave souls are set for a traditional icy plunge into the Irish Sea on New Year’s Day this Friday.

Organisers from Fleetwood Gym FC are staging the annual sponsored New Year dip, which raises money for charity.

Izzy Hendry

Izzy Hendry

This year’s recipient will be the Cystic Fibrosis trust, a cause close to the hearts of the football club.

Izzy Hendry, the 10-year-old daughter of one of the Fleetwood Gym managers, Ian Hendry, has Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and the dip organisers are hoping for a big final total.

The dip will take place in front of Fleetwood Kite Shop, opposite the Mount Hotel, at 1pm.

Participants will gather on the beach from 12.30pm and members of the public are welcome to join in.

It’s a fun way to start the New Year

Organiser Barry Whittaker, of Fleetwood Gym, who has been organising events for several years, said: “The response from people so far has been really good. We should get a decent turn-out.

“It’s a fun way to start the New Year and people should give it a go!

“In some previous years we’ve had as many as 50 people turning out and if we could get that many again, I’d be delighted.”

Cystic Fibrosis is a recessive, genetic disease which can affect the entire body, causing progressive disability and some times early death.

The Trust funds research into the disease and provides information and support for patients and families.

Named after the typical cyst formation within the pancreas, difficulty in breathing is the most serious symptom and results from frequent lung infections that are treated with, though not cured by, antibiotics and other medications.

There are many other symptoms as well, including sinus infections, poor growth and infertility, resulting from the effects of CF on other parts of the body.

Izzy, of Penrhos Avenue, has to take nearly 50 a tablets a day to combat the effects of her illness, but her parents are determined that she can live as full a life as possible.

The youngster, who attends St Wulstan’s & St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School, will not be taking part in the dip herself, but she will be there to support dad Neil and the rest of the dippers.

Neil, who will be braving the water, said: “Izzy’s doing fine but she won’t be going in the sea.

“The Trust does some excellent work so I’m hoping we’ll get a good turn-out and raise as much as we possible.”

Sponsor forms are now available from Barry Whittaker on 07775928332.