12 Dips of Christmas Challenge FAQs

12 Dips of Christmas

Take on the challenge

Go for a dip 12 times over the Christmas season and raise money for our life-saving research.

Sign up for free and you'll receive

CRUK blue t-shirt

Bobble hat

Online Giving Page

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The 12 Dips of Christmas Facebook Challenge is a fundraising ask aimed at supporters, challenging them to go for a cold-water dip at their local swimming pool, sea, lake, etc during the festive period, on any 12 days of their choosing, and to fundraise for Cancer Research UK off the back of this.   

No! You’re expected to choose only 12 dates of your choice.

No! The days that you dip is of your choosing, you might like to find a date to go with friends or family, or you may choose to go on another convenient day, the choice is yours!  

It doesn’t matter if you live near open water or if you’ll be taking part from the comfort of your home, there are lots of ways to complete the challenge and raise money for life-saving research. Ideas include: 

  • Visit your local lake or loch 

  • Run yourself an ice bath 

  • Plunge into a paddling pool 

  • Take a dip in the sea 

  • Have a cold shower 

*IMPORTANT: Please remember to read our 12 Dips of Christmas Challenge Safety Advice before undertaking the challenge. 

You’re free to choose timings and dates across the festive period that is convenient for you to take this challenge on. Cancer Research UK won’t be organising a specific event for this, but feel free to share pictures and videos of you doing this challenge on the Facebook Group and your social media!  

No! You can mix it up, however you wish. For example, if you can’t make it to the beach one day, then you could take a cold shower instead. This is your challenge, so make it work for you.   

To complete the challenge, we’re asking you to enter cold water for 30 seconds per day. However, your safety is paramount, so please don’t go beyond your capability level. Start small and work your way up if necessary.    

Please wear a brightly coloured dip cap during your challenge to help retain body heat and help with visibility. You may also like to wear other items of clothing, such as a wetsuit to aid buoyancy and make you more comfortable in the water. If in the outdoors (sea, loch, lake, etc) we recommend neoprene gloves and booties. Ultimately you should wear what you are comfortable with. More guidance around equipment and clothing when dipping in open water can be found via the external online sources mentioned below. 

There are many hazards to dipping in a reservoir therefore we advise against using them. 

  • Reservoirs can be deceptively deep with unexpected drops which aren’t visible from outside of the water. 

  • Reservoirs are often in isolated places, making it difficult to receive immediate help 

  • Hidden pipes and machinery can be hazardous. 

  • The sides can be steep and difficult to get out from. 

  • There may be hidden obstacles, rubbish, broken glass, etc that people have discarded, and may cause injury. 

The minimum age for participation is 18. Anyone under this age should not undertake the Christmas Dip Challenge.  


Supporter can visit the web page to register https://activities.cancerresearchuk.org/christmas-swim-2023 (registration = Giving Page, blue t-shirt and bobble hat sent to supporter) 

Once they have signed up, they will receive a confirmation email and be prompted to join the Facebook Group 

To join the Facebook group directly, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/979257133183159 

Once you have signed up, join the Facebook Group dedicated to this challenge here. Click 'Join Group'. 

Once you're in, you can complete a form to get your free incentives, plus an Online Giving Page to raise money online https://activities.cancerresearchuk.org/christmas-swim-2023. You’ll then receive an email with tips for completing the challenge and be part of a group full of other inspiring fundraisers where you can find out everything you want to know about the challenge

Please check local advice and choose your locations carefully ensuring the water is safe and clean to enter. In open water we recommend checking ahead for any local sewage alerts and avoiding these areas. If in doubt, consider having a cold shower instead.  

Use the link below to order your incentive (you’ll also receive a Giving Page to raise money online): https://activities.cancerresearchuk.org/christmas-swim-2023 

If you have already placed your order, please allow 10 working days for your bobble hat and t-shirt to arrive. 

There are many online sources which provide advice on entering open water. Please find several trusted sources below. You must take responsibility for your own safety and ensure that comply with all guidance when dipping in open water. Your safety is the number one priority, so if you have any concerns, please do not enter the water. There are many other ways that the challenge can be completed without entering open water.  




Sure, if you don’t have Facebook, you can set up a Giving Page using the link below and collect sponsorship that way: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/downloadable-resources/12_dips_of_christmas_sponsorship_form.pdf 

We trust you! You don’t need to provide evidence that you’ve completed the challenge to us. However, updating your friends and family on your fundraising page is important! 

There is not a minimum amount of fundraising that we set for participant, but we recommend you set a reasonable target of raising about £150. 

We'll provide a digital certificate at the end of the challenge. Unfortunately, we cannot provide medals, however, you will be able to sign up for your FREE Cancer Research UK bobble hat and t-shirt ahead of the challenge starting. 

Facebook fundraisers are automatically set up for seven days. To make the most of your fundraising efforts, you just need to change the end date to keep your fundraiser open throughout the challenge. 

To change the end date simply, click ‘More’ under the invite button, then click ‘Edit Fundraiser’. 

Friends and family will no longer be able to donate to your Facebook Fundraiser once your fundraiser has ended. The end date is automatically set to 7 days after you create your Facebook Fundraiser, so make you set the end date to after the end of November to collect donations throughout the challenge. 

Go to your Facebook Fundraiser page, found in the 'Fundraisers' section on the left hand menu of your News Feed. To change the end date simply, click ‘More’ under the invite button, then click ‘Edit Fundraiser’. 

You can use our sponsorship form to raise money rather than using an online method. Simply download and print off to keep track of all your sponsorship collected or pledged. Once you have completed your fundraising, please send the form with a cheque to:   

Christmas Dip Challenge, Cancer Research UK, PO BOX 1561, Oxford, OX4 9GZ.  

Please note we are currently experiencing a delay in receiving and processing donations so do bear with us if it takes a little longer than usual to receive an acknowledgment.  

This challenge is specifically a fundraising initiative developed by Cancer Research UK, and therefore all fundraising must go direct the charity.   

Gift Aid is a tax relief allowing UK charities to reclaim an extra 25% on every eligible donation made by a UK taxpayer. This means Cancer Research UK can claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated, without it costing you or your sponsors an extra penny. If the donation is eligible for Gift Aid, sponsors need to fill out the sponsor form, following the guidelines at the top of the page.