HUNDREDS ARE eager to stride into the sea for the White Christmas dip, which is back for its 15th year.

Founded in 2008, the dip sees many in fancy dress wade into the water near Boscombe Pier on Christmas Day.

An event that first started with just six members now sees hundreds of people attend thanks to John White and his cousin Tommy Baker.

This year, the newest member of the family, John White VI, the grandson of John White, the co-founder of the event, will be making a special appearance at the event.

Bournemouth Echo:

John was born on December 8, 2023.

The dip raises money as well as festive morale.

More than £300,000 was raised for Macmillan Unit Hospital in Christchurch which helped John's father, also named John, beat his cancer.

Speaking about the birth of their son, event founder John said: “We’ve been waiting patiently for him to arrive and it’s only right he should be part of it all.

“When he’s a little bigger we will let him dip too, although I don’t think my wife Amy will allow it this year.

“But he will be there in fancy dress, and that’s what counts.”

The event will also pay respect to David Woodley, Tommy’s father who passed away from pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 82 in 2022.

He said: “Dad had Pulmonary Fibrosis of the lungs and had been cared for at home by mum before going into the Mac Unit.

“We could go in and see him whenever we wished and his nurses were fantastic, providing everything he needed and making him laugh by pulling his leg.

“I’m really looking forward to taking part in the dip.

"I’m sure dad would have loved it and it’s good to know I’m doing something to help the Unit’s amazing work.”

Neal Williams, trust secretary of the Macmillan Caring Locally charity, which supports the unit, said: "Tommy, John, and now Baby John, are our absolute heroes, as is everyone who takes part in the dip.

"This is our biggest fundraising event and without the boys driving this forward it would not have been the massive success it is.

"We hope people will join them and the many of us from the unit for this amazing event.

“It wouldn’t be Christmas without it."

The dip takes place at 9.45am on December 25th and costs £7.50.