BRAVE swimmers are urged to don their wetsuits and take part in the traditional Christmas Day swim for charity.

The popular annual cross-harbour swim organised by the Weymouth and Portland Lions Club began more than 20 years ago.

Every year hundreds of people brave the chilly weather to raise cash for good causes in everything from Speedos to wetsuits, with several even in fancy dress.

Russ Wooley and Norman Apps from Weymouth and Portland Lions Club, together with Weymouth pantomime ugly sisters Fanny and Annie Hardup, tested the temperature of the water before hundreds of people take the plunge on Christmas Day.

Lions Christmas Day swim organiser Mark Lockie said: “Last year’s Christmas Day swim was a huge success; more than 230 people took part raising more than £8,000 for good causes. We’re hoping to match if not beat that this year and are really looking forward to the day.

“Registration can be done online or is at 9.45am to 10.45am on the day, and the first swim at 11am is set to be opened by Mayor of Weymouth and Portland Ray Banham.

“The last race is always the competitive one, certificates are awarded to all that take part and the winners are awarded with medals.

“Contenders can also fundraise via sponsorship and there will be charity collection buckets on the day.

“For anyone looking to take part, bring a wetsuit because it can get cold but it is a fantastic event that many look forward to every year.”

This year, registration will be on the Brewers Quay side and as last year, transport and sacks will be available to take clothing to the other side.

The ‘landing beach’ will be available again this year courtesy of Pontoon-works Beaches, which will make getting out of the water easier and safer. There will be a £5 minimum entry fee but under 16s entry is free and money raised will go to Lions good causes. For safety reasons each swim is limited to 50 people.

For more information and entry forms call Mark on 07971 441214 or visit