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Celebrating a lifesaver

For almost 100 years, Joan Webb raised money for the RNLI. We celebrate the life of one of the RNLI’s most dedicated fundraisers.

RNLI fundraiser Joan Webb at a bell-ringing ceremony in Poole

In May 2022, the RNLI lost a special family member when Joan Webb passed away at the age of 102. Joan helped save lives at sea for nearly 100 years. From the age of 4, Joan collected funds for the charity with her mother.

Joan’s love of the RNLI continued well into adulthood. In 1985, she joined the RNLI Basingstoke and District Branch, and was their box secretary for many years. Joan made an outstanding contribution to the RNLI’s fundraising, and in 2016 she received the prestigious RNLI Gold Badge for her dedication and service.

As a centenarian, Joan was still taking part in street collections, usually refusing any offer of a seat. Her achievements, charm and warmth will be remembered.

RNLI fundraiser Joan Webb at a bell-ringing ceremony in Poole

A birthday celebration with a difference

To help commemorate her 100th birthday in 2019, Joan was invited to the All-weather Lifeboat Centre, to take part in the bell-ringing ceremony for Rhyl’s new Shannon class lifeboat Anthony Kenneth Heard.

The traditional method of ringing the eight bells comers from maritime history, and signalled the end of the watch on ship, and the start of a new watch. This is what happens when a new lifeboat replaces another lifeboat in the service.

The event occurred at the RNLI's All-weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole on 2 July at 12 noon. The bell was rung eight times by Joan. What better way to celebrate your 100th birthday and a lifetime of support for the RNLI?

RNLI fundraiser Joan Webb at a bell-ringing ceremony in Poole

If Joan’s story has inspired you to get involved with the RNLI, find out how you can support the RNLI by becoming a volunteer or joining your local fundraising branch.