AN ANNUAL charity event which began at Barry Island 36 years ago is on hold after Ty Hafan children’s hospice relinquished its control.

The Sully-based charity has handed back the New Year Day Dip – held in Whitmore Bay on January 1 – to its founder, Rob Salter, but has made the “really difficult decision” to halt its involvement.

It said it had to continue to care for the children at home and at the hospice as its’ “absolute priority” and amid its financial difficulties at the moment it was having to look at its outgoings scrupulously, especially during, and following, the covid-19 crisis.


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Mr Salter said he currently needed to gather more information before he could make any decisions on what the event would look like.

Ty Hafan events manager, Sali Thomas said: “For the last two years Tŷ Hafan has been proud to put on the Barry Island New Years Day Dip.

“With over 2000 participants each year it is fair to say that together with the local community we made quite a splash!

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who took part, raising vital funds for our charity.

“However, in light of the current crisis, and as we look to the future we have made the difficult decision to hand the event back to the organiser in the hope that he can find another partner to work with from next year.

“Like all charities, we need to carefully balance our costs and the effort required from our staff and volunteers to deliver big events.

“The logistics and the safety measures that are, quite rightly, required to host this event have just become a bit too much for us to take on in the future.”

She added: “We’d like to give a special note of thanks to local legend, Rob Salter, who set up the event 36 years ago and gifted it to Tŷ Hafan for the past two years.

“Rob wanted the Dip to benefit the local community, whilst having a bit of fun, and we’re sure that spirit will continue long in to the future.

“We would also like to thank the Vale of Glamorgan Council, South Wales Police, all our incredible volunteers, Whitmore Bay lifeguards, the RNLI, Llantwit Major lifeguards, Jackson's Bay lifeguards, Rhoose lifeguards, Vale surf life and the SUP group.

“Also of course, a huge thank you and well done to all those that took part, fundraised and to all those that cheered everyone on at both events.

“We are confident that the New Year’s Day Dip will remain as a fixture in the local calendar in the future, providing an opportunity for the local community to come together and look forward to supporting it going forward.”