Portishead RNLI Grand Ball raises £12,200 with an evening of surprises

Lifeboats News Release

After months of planning the RNLI Grand Ball held at Double Tree Hilton, Cadbury House and sponsored by The Porsche Centre Bristol, got underway on Saturday night (12 November). With the 200 guests enjoying a fun packed evening.


Guests at DoubleTree Hilton, Cadbury House

Guests arrived to see the iconic yellow RNLI wellies as the centrepiece of their tables. The children’s wellies were this time filled with flowers, not crew members.

Mike Roberts, Chairman of Portishead RNLI, started the evening with a minute silence to remember those who gave their lives in the two world wars and all who have died in combat since. Then the party started, two guests from each table were the lucky winners of the symbolic yellow wellie flower arrangements and also a bottle of port. After an entertaining video, which summed up the record number of 45 call outs including two lives saved, which the Portishead station have responded to so far this year, the room was filled with cheers and deafening applause for the commitment and dedication of the volunteers.

As dessert was served the guests were surprised yet again, this time with the fantastic Bravo Singing Waiters who had everyone on their feet singing and dancing along to their outstanding performance. Then it was time for Toby Pinn of Clevedon Salerooms who gave up his time to join the fundraisers, with the Grand Auction. With his fun filled style he helped the volunteers raise in excess of £12,200! With ‘lots’, which included a Mercedes F1 signed by the driver’s shirt, a weekend stay in Cornwall, a trip out on the iconic Svitzer Tugs. Plus the first ever RNLI flag that was raised at the time of the adoption of the Portishead Lifeboat Trust, as they became part of the RNLI charity.

Team GB’s Noelle Finch, a local windsurfer from Clevedon who was welcomed with cheers of delight as she drew the raffle prizes, then joined guests. Noelle took time out to come along and support the RNLI volunteers as she is a great supporter of the charity. She said ‘The RNLI is very close to my heart and being on the water nearly every day, no matter how prepared you can be, it is always nice to know that the volunteers are there if you need them.'

Mike said ‘We had a Ball – oh yes! A crowded room, dedicated supporters and more fun than you could shake a stick at. And all to support the most serious of objectives – to save lives whenever the call comes. The unpaid volunteers at Portishead RNLI are just so grateful for the enthusiastic support of so many individuals and organisations. Thank you everyone.’

RNLI notes to editors

All images © RNLI Portishead

  1. Guests at DoubleTree Hilton, Cadbury House
  2. Iconic yellow wellies
  3. Special Guest Team GB Athlete Noelle Finch & partner Matt Lazenby
  4. Toby Pinn during the auction
RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Helen Lazenby, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07800 595995 or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI/Portishead RNLI

Iconic Yellow Wellies


Special Guest Team GB Athlete Noelle Finch & partner Matt Lazenby


Toby Pinn during the auction

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 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 or by email.