A NEW Year’s Day dip that raised money for Bowness first responders was inspired by the organisers aunt.

Cathy Poxon, chair of Port Carlisle community group is always looking for ways to raise money.

She explained: “My aunt grew up in Port Carlisle and every day for her adult life, from March to October, she would swim in the Solway just off the marsh from her house.

“I thought for something different why not get sponsored to swim in the Solway on New Year’s Day 2020.

“Most people I spoke to thought I was daft and as time drew closer it looked as if I would be swimming on my own.”

Mrs Poxon wrote in the newsletter in December reminding people and slowly started to get a few sponsors.

On New Year’s Eve at a community event Mrs Poxon was talking to some locals from Bowness-on-Solway who explained with the encouragement of their wives they would join her and raise money too.

She was joined by five other swimmers on the day and supported by 40 people who came to watch.

“The water was incredibly cold, however, once the feeling left our feet and legs it didn’t seem to matter how long we stayed in. We all had a little swim around to cheers from the watching crowd,” continued Mrs Poxon.

“In total Port Carlisle community groups raised £450 and I believe the first responders raised nearly £500 which is just fantastic.

“This is the first of what I hope will be an annual event and I would love more people to join us in the water next year.”