Icy Christmas Day plunge in honour of hospital campaigner George Parish nets over £2,300 for Alzheimer’s Society

Maria Parish and her daughter Rosie after completing the Christmas Day swim along Weymouth Harbour. They were raising money for the Alzheimer's Society.
Maria Parish and her daughter Rosie after completing the Christmas Day swim along Weymouth Harbour. They were raising money for the Alzheimer's Society.

A mother and daughter plunged into the icy water of Weymouth harbour on a Christmas Day fundraising effort that has raised an amazing £2,310 for charity.

Maria Parish of Banbury and her daughter Rosie agreed to their brave challenge in a bid to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Mrs Parish chose the charity because her father-in-law, George Parish - who spent many years campaigning for the protection of services at the Horton General Hospital - suffers from the condition.

“We would really like the opportunity to thank the people of Banbury for their support,” said Mrs Parish.

“The money came from donations from all corners of the community. I was approached a few times when out in town and handed money.

“Our online fundraising page currently stands at £1,305, twice the total before the original Banbury Guardian story was printed. However I have just been told my brother in law was given £5 in their local shop last night, making £1310 then Barclays have pledged to match what we raise to a maximum of £1000 which means we have £2310 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

“The swim was really fun. There was a great atmosphere and it was a really different and fantastic way to spend Christmas Day,” she said.

“The harbour was lined with hundreds of spectators. There were serious swimmers and then lots of people doing the swim in fancy dress.

“We wore Santa tops and hats, although we lost the hats as soon as we jumped in. There were 336 swimmers this year and £20,000 was raised for a variety of good causes, so it was a very successful event.”