A TEENAGER spent Christmas Day surfing in the chilly North Sea dressed as Santa Claus to raise money for charity.
Peter Rowan, 18, from Framwellgate Moor, Durham City, took to the waters to raise funds for a charity which helps Third World youngsters.
Next month gap year student Peter will fly to India for three months with the charity called Restless Development.
Peter, who attended Durham Johnston sixth form and who worked in a Durham restaurant before going to Manchester University in September, said: “I am going with Restless Development to Orissa in India to teach young people aged 18-25 about Sexual Reproductive Health and employment skills such as CV writing, basic English and ICT skills.
“I leave on January 25 for three months.
“My costs are covered by the Department For International Development, and any money raised will go to the charity itself, paying for teaching resources.
“But part of the programme involves fundraising and using your own initiative.”
Peter decided to surf on Christmas Day in Saltburn, Teesside.
“I wanted to do something a little different. I used to do quite a bit of surfing, although I haven’t recently, but the idea of surfing on Saltburn beach on Christmas Day appealed to me.
“I did it wearing a Santa costume with a wet suit underneath, I would catch hypothermia otherwise.
“I managed to rope in my stepbrother Harley Goundry to join me, dressed as an elf.
“The sea wasn’t too bad as it turned out, and quite a few locals who saw Santa in the sea came across and put a few quid in my collection box.
“I must have been in the sea for around half an hour which was longer than I had expected.”
Peter said he expected the accommodation in India to be “rather primitive” adding: “Someone who was there before me said there were rats in the shower.
“I am a little apprehensive because I have never been away from home for more than two weeks before, but it should be a rewarding experience.”
Anyone wanting to donate to Peter’s cause can do so via his Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/Peter-Rowan1