NOT many fundraisers would devour maggots, ragworms and cockroaches merely to publicise an equally tough event – jumping into the North Sea on New Year’s Day.

But Ron Gordon, 58, who has been organising dips to the sea at Redcar for more than 30 years is not an average charity fundraiser.

In the past he has eaten insects and been buried in sand while lobsters crawled around him.

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And today, Thursday, December 6, Ron, has beaten them all in his attempt to raise awareness and money for Selly Oaks Hospital in Birmingham which cares for servicemen and woman disabled serving their country.

The key skills manager at the Pupil Referral Unit in Eston, near Middlesbrough agreed to eat and drink two disgusting concoctions by two of his students in order to publicise this year’s New Year’s Day dip.

Callum West, 15, from Redcar created a Maggot Manaloosha and Dale Knight, 13, of Grangetown, near Middlesbrough, concocted a delightful dish called a South Bank Cocktail.

The creations included mincing offal from a sheep and adding crickets, maggots and even a black spider.

“I feel a bit sick,” admitted Ron, who devoured the 'food' in Redcar. “But the students learned about disability, so it’s all worth it.”

Mr Gordon, who was awarded the MBE for services to the community in 1999, explained he would donate all the money he raised at the dip to Selly Oaks Hospital via the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine.

The Northern Echo: TAKING PLUNGE: Dippers at last year's event

However others can donate 50 per cent to the hospital and donate the rest to another cause.

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