Sea swimmers shed clothes to help keep those in need of warmth with charity swim off Northumberland village

Swimmers stripped off as they helped raise cash and clothing for those facing Christmas without a home or cash in their pocket this year.

Sunday, 17th November 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Sunday, 17th November 2019, 8:00 am

More than 20 people swam off Amble’s Little Shore in support of the sixth Winter Coat Amnesty for Crisis, with bags of donated clothes filling a van and cash and items from a wish list collected.

The swim was organised by Jane Hardy and Crisis worker Kate Upshall, with another, a Heels v Eels event following on in Blyth through the Blyth and District All Season Swimmers (Badass), where members wore red for their dip.

They raised £170-plus between them.

Swimmers in the water off Amble Little Shore as they showed their support for the Crisis charity event.

Jane said: “Just about everyone has a coat or a jumper stashed away that they don’t wear anymore so it’s perfect timing to make space in your cupboards for the new ones people get for Christmas.

“I came up with the idea six years ago and originally we filled three car boots with clothing and a handful of swimmers rocked up.

“It’s got bigger each year and this time I’ve had people giving me coats all year round ahead of the event.

“They were all hardcore acclimatised winter swimmers – the North Sea in November is not for the faint-hearted.

Swimmers take to the water off Amble Little Shore.

“As with last year, the residents of Amble were right behind us and came along on the day with gifts.

“Crisis skylight in Newcastle feed somewhere between 300 and 500 people over Christmas day and Boxing Day

“It’s not just homeless people, it’s those living in poverty that can’t afford a Christmas dinner.

“Everyone has a ‘personal shopper’ and can choose items of warm clothing

Just a few people took part in the first Winter Coat Amnesty Swim for Crisis six years ago, with more than 20 joining in this year.

“Anything left over goes to a local clothing bank so it really is a case of charity starting at home and reaching out to those that need it most in our area.”

Among those joining in the Amble event was Nicola Tilt, 49, a statistician from Longhoughton, a member of the Alnwick and Amble District Open Water Swimmers.

She said: “It was lovely, it’s had a nice atmosphere and it’s nice to do something for a good charity with likeminded people.”

Anyone who would like to support the Crisis centre can call (0191) 222 0622 or email [email protected].

Organisers said the people of Amble gave their support to the event once again.