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Cullercoats Calendar Girls raise over £1,400 for the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A group of women who are members of North Shields Polytechnic Athletics Club decided to create a 2017 calendar similar to the style of the original Calendar Girls. Their efforts raised a magnificent sum of £1,418.40 for Cullercoats Lifeboat.

Cheque Presentation

RNLI/Michael Scott

Cheque presented to crew members Ben Bradshaw (Left) and Marc Pattinson. Kate Dyson 3rd from left.

The idea of doing a tastefully fashioned calendar with 8 friends getting together for some undressed photographs was the idea of Kate Dyson. Kate was the organiser and co-ordinator of the project and her planning had to be meticulous. All 12 photographs were taken during the summer of 2016 with some very early starts to have the photographs taken when there was no-one about.

Kate explained: ‘Our Christmas calendar photograph was a bit surreal. It was photographed in the middle of June which was one of the hottest days of the year and the house we were being photographed was fully decorated as if it were Christmas Day. I’d also like to thank Kimberly Cockburn for her time and effort who volunteered to take the photographs for the calendar.’

The 8 women who were involved with the calendar are all local to the coast and are members of Cullercoats Open Water Swimmers (COWS). They frequently swim in and around Cullercoats Bay and are always mindful of safety in the sea and when they swim they aware of the RNLI’s “Respect the Water” campaign.

Heather Gould a member of COWS added: ‘We all had a great time having the photographs taken even though it meant sometimes getting up at 4am. As we are all open water swimmers we are very much aware the great work all the volunteers at Cullercoats RNLI do. That’s why we decided as a group to donate the profits from the calendar to our local lifeboat station.’

Ben Bradshaw, Helmsman at Cullercoats RNLI commented: ‘This donation is gratefully received, the funds raised will fully kit a volunteer crew member. Everyone at the station appreciates all the efforts of the group who helped produce the 2017 calendar. Without donations like this, our volunteer crew would be unable to carry on saving lives at sea.'

Photo: Courtesy Michael Scott RNLI Cullercoats.

RNLI Media Contacts: For more information please telephone Michael Scott, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07906 632598 or Alison Levett, RNLI Public Relations Manger North 07786 668912 or or contact RNLI Public Relations 01202 336789​​​​

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland