Swimmers brave icy sea for appeal

THE ice cold North Sea held no fears for intrepid swimmers who completed their warm-hearted gesture to raise �460 for the Palliative Care East appeal at the James Paget University Hospital.

THE ice cold North Sea held no fears for intrepid swimmers who completed their warm-hearted gesture to raise �460 for the Palliative Care East appeal at the James Paget University Hospital.

The eight-strong group of swimmers gave up their traditional festive comforts to dive into the freezing water near Pier Hotel in Gorleston on Christmas Day to help the campaign to provide a new �1.5m palliative care centre at the hospital for people with terminal illnesses.

The event was organised by James Mallion, 24, who took part along with his father Tony Mallion, 59, the appeal's patron and brother Tom, 21.

The Mallion clan was joined by James' friends Fraser Gould, 24 and Sam Currier, 21, Dawn Taylor, a matron at the hospital and surprise guests Ann Smith, a regular Gorleston swimmer and Niki Boyle.

James said he spent 10 minutes in the water and got out after everyone else before changing into some nice warm clothes and heading back home for a welcome cup of tea.

“I went off and got changed and ended up shivering for about half an hour afterwards. I had the shakes for quite a bit. It was just particularly icy- your hands and your feet go like blocks of ice,” James said.

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Money was raised through donations at www.justgiving.com/Christmas-swim, while Jenny Mallion, a palliative care specialist at the hospital, shook her collection bucket to collect money from the 25 spectators who had turned out to watch the swimmers suffer.

Belton-based ladies group, Like Minded Ladies of Belton, has designed a quilt made from 1,843 individual hexagons which has been given to the appeal to help raise funds. The 12 group members cut the hexagons from recycled fabrics before hand sewing them to create the top of the patchwork quilt.

Parts of the quilt were stitched in France, Spain, New York, Heathrow Airport, the A&E department at the James Paget Hospital and even on the M11! The completed patchwork top was stitched to a pink border made from pillowcases found in a charity shop, while the backing fabric was made from a pair of curtains from the same charity shop.

The only items specifically bought were reels of thread and wadding. Quilting was done using the traditional “tying” method, with buttons added for decoration.

To make a donation to the Palliative Care East appeal visit www.palliative-care-east.org.uk. Cheques made payable to Palliative Care East can be sent to Palliative Care East, Fundraising Office, James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, NR31 6LA.

In what has become a festive tradition in Lowestoft, thousands of warmly wrapped-up spectators lined the South Beach promenade to watch other folk strip off and brave the elements for the town's 32nd Christmas Day charity swim.

Making an impression in his first swim was Colin Close, 42, who dressed up as Batman in a charity fundraising venture with three of his colleagues from the Gorleston-based Fraser Offshore company. They hoped to raise more than �200.

A Snowflake Ball held at Somerleyton Hall on December 19 raised �5552 for the appeal.

These are the latest donations:

Mrs D Knights- In Memory of Ric Knights �475; Miss A Delfino �20; Mrs J Grand �80; Mrs M L Spalding �25; Mrs G M Wicks �106; Ward Grethin on behalf of Mr David Ainslie �75; Mrs K Pearce �30; Mrs L M Pearce Club Christmas Cards �25; Mrs W Hunt �30; A W Bowles �110; G.A.R. Hanton �10; N P Tubby �30; L Peck �25; A Jary & Sons - in memory of Iris Lorraine Coster �40; Anglia Co-operative Funerals in memory of Mrs Eileen Violet Ince �170.00; Anglia Co-operative Funerals in memory of Mr Rodney Bray �140; Mrs J Ormerod �70; S W Flint �20; K R Barnes �35; Great Yarmouth Power Station �2000; Great Yarmouth Local History & Archaeological Society �101.10; Norton Peskett �500; Feet First Fundraising �735; Collection from Floristry Students - Julia Knights �50; Valerie Knights �100; Lisa Jones - in Memory of Mr & Mrs Watts �25; Oddfellows �60; Mrs L M Clemmit �30; Mrs S Strutt - In Memory of Mr Nicholas Charles Strutt �92; Grotto - Fusion �193; Feet First Fundraiser �20; Morgan Ashurst Construction �1500; Lisa Jones �5; Sue Smith Gala Garden Appeal - Filby �304; Mrs B Secker �5; Moonlight Walk �154; Mrs I Layzell �30; Great Yarmouth & Caister Ladies Golf Club �75; Arthur Jary & Sons Ltd - In Memory of Maureen Jean Burnay �518.13; Gorleston Rotary Club �250; J & P Dyer �50; Mr and Mrs Tungate �70; Brundish & Son in memory of the late Audrey Self �633.33; Mario Price JPUH �183.50; Julie Tobutt �10; Hugh Sturzaker -JPUH Governors �15.56; Mr and Mrs J Horton �40; H & H Sear �42; Pagets Pantry �39; H & A Sturzaker �100; Raynscourt Hotel �76.30; League of Friends Shop �43; Mr Jones - Ivy Farm �20.80; Mr and Mrs Rowinski - in memory of the late Nick Strutt �25