Weston-super-Mare RNLI raise over £500,000

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteers of Weston RNLI, with the help of surrounding areas, have managed to beat their target for raising funds towards a new Lifeboat station.

In January 2013, when it became clear that the RNLI crew would have to leave their home of 132 years, work began to find a site for a new lifeboat station to serve Weston and those in trouble on the sea. The RNLI started an appeal, initially joint with Portishead, as the Bristol Channel Appeal. Portishead was found a site and built quickly but Weston has proved a more difficult challenge.

The initial target for Weston was to raise £300,000 in three years. A great deal of work went into raising this money. Many events were held, demonstrations done, buckets waved and collecting boxes positioned. There was also help from surrounding RNLI fund raising branches and some from far away, particularly in the Midlands.

The fundraising branch led by Peter Elmont worked very closely with the crew of the temporary station on Knightstone Piazza led by Charlotte Conroy. As one team they all gave up a great deal of time and effort to devote to raising money for the Appeal. As a result the appeal target which should have been reached by January 2016 was actually passed in mid 2015. The fundraisers carried on regardless and the money kept coming in. As a result there was a celebration on Saturday 16th July when all involved got together to celebrate reaching the magnificent total of £500,000.

Photographs were taken of the local team plus those from surrounding branches followed by a buffet in Stones Restaurant. The buffet was sponsored by Boost Labcare who are a UKAS accredited laboratory providing laboratory equipment sales, calibration and maintenance. 

Pete Elmont said:  ‘I am humbled and delighted that this sum has been reached. It is all due to the efforts of our team plus the generosity of the people of Weston and I am very proud of them. The cost of a new station is going to be well over one million pounds so we need to keep working.'

Charlotte Conroy said: ‘This sum is superb. It has proved very difficult to find the right site for our station although things are now moving forward quite quickly. The RNLI is determined to find the right site as we are the busiest station on this coast and last year alone launched 48 times and saved at least 13 lives. This sum will all be spent building the station which will allow my crew to carry on with their dedicated role of saving lives at sea.'

Notes to editors

Photo show the combined fund raisers and crew.

RNLI media contacts

For further information, please contact Weston-super-Mare RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer Glyn Hayes on 01934 824587 or Chris Lyons Deputy RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 07825 347697

Lifeboats in service at Weston-super-Mare

Atlantic 75 class Lifeboat named Coventry and Warwickshire

D-Class Lifeboat named Anna Stock 

The station was established in 1882 at the request of the local inhabitants and moved into a new boathouse in 1902. In 2013 the Pier connecting Birnbeck Island to the mainland became too unstable and dangerous. The crew now use a temporary station on the shoreline while waiting for a new permanent home.

To find out more information about Weston-super-Mare lifeboat and for recent events, please log onto our website or contact Glyn Hayes on 01934 824587.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.