Hundreds of nudists charge into the sea for North East Skinny Dip

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Hundreds of nudists braved the September chill to bare all as they charged into the sea for the North East Skinny Dip on Sunday.

The annual event takes place on Northumberland's Druridge Bay, with those involved stripping down to their birthday suits before taking the plunge in the North Sea.

All in the name of charity, their efforts are to raise support and money for mental health organisation Mind – and the event has now been running every year for a decade.

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Keen dippers faced an early start as they flocked to the beach ahead of sunrise before heading for the water just before 7am as the first glimmers of light broke through.

Participants can contribute £15 to the cause to join fellow nudists, with all proceeds raised being donated locally to Tyneside and Northumberland Mind.

Organiser and founder Jax Higginson, from Whitburn, told The Shields Gazette that the event has already raised over £80,000 down the years and she firmly expects it to break the £100,000 barrier this year.

“North East Skinny Dip is a celebration of life, of nature and of our own, unique, physical bodies. It’s about taking a risk and embracing a moment of pure joy and freedom," Jax said.

“It also provides a rare opportunity to step into our vulnerability, confront shame and smash the beauty myth.

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“NESD is not just a skinny dip; it’s an experience. There is no better way to welcome the winter than stripping down to skin at sunrise and running wild and free into the North Sea with hundreds of other people.”

Getting naked is not compulsory, but it is encouraged, and with a record 830 people joining the 2021 event, willing participants certainly won't be going it alone.

To donate to the cause in support of Mind, visit the NESD’s JustGiving page.

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