Northumberland swimmers to hold Vampire Swim for lymphoma charity

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A team of cold-dip swimmers are preparing for a Halloween-themed charity plunge in the North Sea.

Jane Hardy and Lynne Woodfine, both from the Alnwick area, have organised a vampire swim and cake sale on Sunday, October 29 to raise money for Lymphoma Action.

The swim will act as the finale to their month-long Swim Bingo that encourages people to give blood or, this year, donate to Lymphoma Action in exchange for a bingo card containing various challenges that they can take part in.

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Jane and the team will dress up in Halloween costumes and take a dip in the North Sea for their sixth Vampire Swim, which this year will be in support of the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting people affected by lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.

Alnwick sea swimmer Jane Hardy.Alnwick sea swimmer Jane Hardy.
Alnwick sea swimmer Jane Hardy.

It is a cause close to their hearts, as a member of the swim team, Kate Hobson, is in remission from lymphoma, along with Jane’s eldest son’s best friend, Fraser Hanvey who is also in remission from the condition following a stem cell transplant. Kate’s cousin also sadly passed away from lymphoma very recently at the age of 52.

“When you witness the loveliest of people fight this disease, then the least you can do is try and help in some way,” says Jane.

“The vampire swim first started in America, but Lynne and I brought it to England in 2018 as a dress-up swim event for Halloween in Northumberland.

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"Initially, it was a way of encouraging people to give blood but in the years that followed, we sadly lost a member of our swimming team, Annie Bromwich Alexandra, and Lynne’s dad, both to myeloma - another type of blood cancer. We therefore focused our fundraising efforts, both through the swim event and a cake sale, on raising money for Myeloma UK.

"Last year, Kate was poorly with lymphoma so in addition to our yearly swim for Myeloma UK, we held a cake sale to raise funds for Lymphoma Action. This year we have reversed it, with funds from our swim event going to Lymphoma Action, and those from our cake sale going to Myeloma UK.”

“This year, we have also set up the swim bingo as a lighthearted, fun and inclusive way of raising funds” she continued. “People can take part in fun challenges like wearing red for cancer awareness, or pet fancy dress and share their pictures with others taking part. We also have prizes lined up for things like the ‘best dressed dog’ or ‘best Halloween outfit’ with local businesses taking part. The vampire swim finale is for the cold-water hardy, but the best bit – the cake – is for everyone!”

“We are so grateful to Jane, and Lynne for their support, and wish the team the best of luck ahead of their brave challenge,” says Amy Billington, senior fundraising manager at Lymphoma Action. “Every 26 minutes one of us is diagnosed with lymphoma. Thanks to amazing people like Jane and Lynne, we can continue to provide vital information and support to make sure no one has to face lymphoma alone.”

Jane’s fundraising page can be found at