St Albans swimmers take the Polar Bear Plunge for charities

PUBLISHED: 15:04 07 January 2016 | UPDATED: 15:04 07 January 2016

Polar Bear Plunge

Polar Bear Plunge

Archant

Over 150 plucky plungers braved the New Year’s Day chill to throw themselves into a pool of freezing cold water to raise money for three charities.

The icy escapade at St Albans Sub Aqua Club Pool on Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, was organised by Ed Suttie, who hopes to undertake a self-funded trip to the North Pole in April this year to raise over £30,000 for Rennie Grove Hospice Care, Earthworks St Albans and Cancer Research UK.

The divers, some of whom dressed up for the occasion, ranged in age from five to 66 and everyone who took part in the Polar Bear Plunge received a well-deserved hot chocolate, a medal and a t-shirt.

In addition to the money collected through the dive, baked potatoes and other attractions were laid on for those taking part and watching

Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Salih Gaygusuz, opened the event and even took the plunge himself after challenging onlookers to raise as much money as they could in 15 minutes.

The £340 raised from the Mayor’s challenge contributed to a total of £5,093 raised on the day

Ed, 48, who is part of a six-man team which will be skiing and walking from a position two degrees south of the North Pole, said the plunge had been ‘a leap of faith’ for him and his wife Clare, but they had been overwhelmed and grateful for the response it had received.

He went on: “People are still donating and it’s fantastic.

“The whole day just exceeded all expectations.”

More events are planned before Ed sets off for the Pole in a few months and there is already talk of making the New Year plunge a permanent fixture on the calendar.

For more information on Ed’s Arctic adventure visit ed2northpole.org to learn more about him, the charities, the trip and sponsors.

To donate instantly, text POLE67 and the amount you wish to donate to 70070 - for example, text ‘POLE67 £10’ to donate £10.

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