How your creative energy is powering our lifeboats
It takes more than our crews to launch a lifeboat. Meet some of the RNLI fundraisers who are using their creative talents to help save lives at sea.
Monty the woodturner
After Val and Monty Green got cut off by the tide, they tried to wade to safety. But the current was strong and swept them off their feet, dragging them a mile out to sea. Val went under the water several times.
At the very last minute, she remembers an outstretched hand coming down through the water and a lifeguard pulling her to safety.
35 years later, Val and Monty are going strong. But they are reminded of that day every time they unpack their trailer and put up their sales gazebo.
The pair regularly take Monty’s hand-crafted bowls and replica fruit on the road, selling them at country fairs and community events from their gazebo. And at the end of each day? They bring the takings to the nearest lifeboat station, where they make a donation to the RNLI.
Margot the painter
Artist Margot Cornish – whose late husband and two cousins used to be on crew at Newhaven Lifeboat Station – has an unusual canvas. She paints on buoys.
‘I like to paint and give presents as a gift from my heart to those who truly deserve it,’ she says. ‘It is just one way of showing my gratitude to a fantastic cause.’
Margot has been involved with the RNLI for around 40 years, and gifted the buoy pictured above to Exmouth Lifeboat Station.
JoJo the ‘artistic tinker’
JoJo Durnford lost her mum in a scuba diving accident when she was just 11 years old. Thirty years on, JoJo finally felt strong enough to give something back to the brave crews who tried to save her mum.
‘I run my own face painting business, Artistic Tinker. I organised a fun day with face painting, unicorn pony rides, superhero and princess visits, inflatables, crafts, a raffle and a white dove release in loving memory of my mum.
‘My target was £1,000 which I hit in 3 days. In just 8 months, I raised £8,000. All the money was shared between the St Davids lifeboat and the Little and Broadhaven lifeboat, the two stations that went to mum’s rescue. The crews need to get the recognition that they truly deserve. They will always be my heroes.
‘Fundraising was extremely hard and an emotional rollercoaster for me, but the end result was far better than I could ever have hoped for. I hope that the money I raised will prevent another child losing their mother.’
Maria the knitter
‘Our knitting group’s handcrafted creations include toys, clothes, crocheted blankets and cushions – pretty much anything that will catch people’s imagination. Our Captain McStuffing Mayday Raffle took the office by storm and raised over £170 towards the cost of kitting out a crew member. Last year, we raised a whopping £1,000.
‘I’m overjoyed to see my woolly creations going to a new home and I'm sure our knitting group supporters, many of whom send in donations of knitted clothing or toys, would be too. It's lovely to think that our nimble fingers are helping to save lives at sea!’
Dave and Cas Peace the shanty hounds
Hampshire/Surrey-based Shanty Hounds have been performing charity gigs for the RNLI since 2017.
Band member Dave Peace says: ‘A year or more ago local boats, including ours, helped in the search and rescue of a missing person, and it really struck a chord.
‘We started singing traditional sea shanties, but we play a mix of things. We like anti-shanties – modern takes on old songs.
‘We do 10 to 12 gigs a year. We’ve even sung at the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival, raising money for the RNLI – an amazing experience.’
The band occasionally write their own songs. My Aircraft Carrier Sprang a Leak is one of them. This was Dave’s homage to the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth after it started taking on water in 2017.
‘We love singing. We may not have the best voices in the world but our enthusiasm makes up for that. And it’s all for a great cause!’
Macy, Poppy and Henry the bakers
Macy from Devon baked 100 welly-shaped biscuits, which she sold at school.
‘Everyone loved them,’ says Macy. ‘And I ended up raising £22. I’m so happy that I can help buy important equipment for the volunteers. Thank you for all you do to help keep us safe.’
Poppy and her brother Henry baked tons of tasty goodies for a cake sale at their dad’s office to raise money for the RNLI. Everyone got a surprise when a member of Poole lifeboat crew turned up to say hello. Poppy and Henry smashed their fundraising target of £30 and ended up making nearly four times that.
Whatever your passion, turn it into fundraising to help our lifesavers.
You can help save lives at sea with a donation today. From kit to crew training to kids’ education, you’ll be making a real difference to our volunteers – and the people they save.Donate today