WITH Christmas Day creeping closer, a substantial amount of mince pies are consumed and tinsel begins to adorn our homes.

But it also means that the annual White Christmas Dip will take place at Boscombe Pier, when people wearing festive fancy dress fling themselves into the freezing UK waters in aid of Macmillan Caring Locally.

This will be the 12th year the White Christmas Dip has taken place, and organiser Tom Baker explained the inspiration behind the annual swim.

He said: “My uncle was diagnosed with cancer and I wanted to create memories for all of the family. We made memories by charging into the sea.

“It gradually grew over the years, which made me think about doing it for a good cause.”

The first White Christmas Dip saw eight people plunge into the sea, a significantly smaller number than the 950 that attended in 2018.

Last year, between £40,000-£45,000 was raised, and Tom hopes they will reach a quarter of a million pounds in total this Christmas for a charity close to his heart.

“I chose Macmillan Caring Locally because they looked after my uncle. It’s a small charity that always shows where the money goes. It doesn’t go into a big pot never to be seen again.”

Macmillan Caring Locally is a volunteer-run charity that relies on local support to fund its services. And with an increase of attendees every year, the charity is undoubtedly supported.

Taking part in the White Christmas Dip isn’t only about raising money for charity, but having fun too, Tom said.

“The Dip gets you out of the house and enjoying some fresh air. You have fun whilst helping a local charity. It’s something you can talk about over your Christmas dinner later in the day.”

The swim will take place on Christmas Day at 10.30am with registration taking place at 9:45am.

Macmillan Caring Locally is not connected or affiliated with the national charities Cancer Research or Macmillan Cancer Support.

It is a separate, local unit that specialises in providing palliative care to patients with advanced, progressive, incurable illnesses with complex symptoms.

If you would like to take part or support the charity, visit the White Christmas Dip at whitechristmasdip.co.uk

Alternatively you can visit the White Christmas Dip Facebook page by going to facebook.com/whitechristmasdip