They certainly are splashing the cash for charity...
For the organisers of an annual New Year’s Day dip in the sea in aid of SANDS have presented the charity with just over £1,800 - bringing their overall total since the event began five years ago to an incredible £10,000!
Coleraine man Donal Macauley and his wife Elaine began the chilly charity venture - called Splish Splash Splosh - five years ago by gathering up a few friends and relatives for a bracing start to the new year by running into the sea in Portstewart to raise funds for SANDS - the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity.
Each year the event has grown with supporters of Splish Splash Splosh now marking it as part of their annual New Year ritual. ‘Splashers’ come in fancy dress, bring their children and even their dogs!
Organiser Donal said: “Every year it’s becoming a tradition for people now and people, in their madness, are always up for it. It’s those mad friends who make it because without them we wouldn’t be raising so much money for SANDS.
“They are the ones who give up their time, and it’s not just the ones who go into the sea but the ones who support the event as well.
“It is great to know that all the money raised stays local, here in Northern Ireland because this is something that affects everyone.”
SANDS Regional co-ordinator for Northern Ireland Steven Guy paid tribute to the Splish Splash Splosh event participants.
“If they are mad enough to run into the sea on New Year’s Day, we are mad enough to accept the money,” he joked.
“We at SANDS are delighted to receive this fantastic sum of money and thank Donal and Elaine and all their supporters for how much they have raised over the years.”
Pictured is Splish Splash Splosh organiser Donal Macauley (second left) presenting SANDS regional co-ordinator NI Steven Guy with £1,814.30. Also included are Carol Murray and Deborah McCahon, Coleraine SANDS and Harry Stinson, event supporter.
If you would like information on the work of SANDS NI and where to find a local branch, log onto www.sandsni.org