BRAVE swimmers who enjoyed a freezing cold dip on Christmas Day raised more than £20,000 for Macmillan Caring Locally.

The White Christmas Dip enticed around 450 fancy dress-clad residents to Boscombe beach, braving bracing winds and a hail storm to run into the sea for a brief splash.

The event was the biggest fundraiser of the year for Macmillan Caring Locally, which is a small independent charity that funds the Macmillan Unit at Christchurch Hospital.

Trust secretary Neal Williams thanked everyone who took part and all the sponsors who helped fund the event, particularly Orange Lettings.

He said: “We were absolutely delighted with the number of participants, volunteers and spectators.

“We would like to thank them all for giving up their Christmas morning and thank everyone who gave so generously to support the Macmillan Unit.”

The event was founded by Tommy Baker in 2008, when just eight people plunged into the sea.

By 2012, the number of swimmers had grown to over 150 and in 2013 the White Christmas Dip became the first official Macmillan Caring Locally-endorsed event.