Racing ahead in West Yorkshire to support RNLI Lifeguards in Bridlington

Lifeguards News Release

The Garforth Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) recently held their annual Race Night at Garforth Working Men’s Club and raised £1,335 for the charity that saves lives at sea.

RNLI/Andy Brompton

The RNLI lifeguarding team in East Yorkshire during summer 2017.

The proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to the RNLI’s fundraising appeal which hopes to raise £35,000 to fund new lifesaving kit for its lifeguards in Bridlington.

Having up-to-date rescue kit provides the charity’s lifeguards with extra peace of mind during their summer patrols. It also enables them to focus on their role of saving lives and preventing people getting into difficulty.

Christine Pitchfork, Garforth RNLI Branch Chair, explained: ‘Garforth Race Night is always a popular event within the RNLI calendar and this year the tickets sold out before they were even printed.

‘It’s a really fun evening and just like a ‘proper’ horserace but with wooden handmade horses and jockeys instead of real ones – we even have race officials!

‘Each horse is attached by string to a wooden base and ‘entrants’ compete to see who can get their horse first over the finish line. There are six races and the winning ‘jockey’ from each competes in a final, the winner of which is awarded the Garforth Gold Cup.’

The races were sponsored by local people and businesses paid to advertise in the race cards. Money was also generated through a raffle and tombola.

Christine added: ‘Garforth is a small inland branch of hard working and dedicated fundraisers. Over 80 members, supporters and friends enjoyed the evening and we’re delighted that it raised so much. The money will provide a vital boost to the Bridlington Lifeguard Appeal and I’d like to thank everyone who supported and helped out at our event.’

David Brant, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said: ‘Our charity’s lifeguards receive first-class training to ensure that they are equipped to perform anything from minor first-aids through to major rescues, but without up-to-date kit, the teams wouldn’t be able to put this training into action.

‘The money raised by the race night will provide an invaluable contribution to the appeal and will help fund new equipment. This will enable our lifeguards to continue their lifesaving work next year.’

For more information on how support the RNLI’s fundraising appeal, please visit:

RNLI Picture captions

1. The photograph shows the RNLI lifeguarding team in East Yorkshire during this year’s lifeguarding season. Credit: RNLI/Andy Brompton.

2. The photograph shows the wooden horses and jockeys. Credit: Tony Small.

Notes to editors

Examples of RNLI lifeguarding kit and costs include:

A red and yellow flag (used to indicate where it’s safe to swim) - £17

  • Binoculars - £90
  • Lifeguard full kit - £872
  • Lifeguard inshore rescue boat - £13,000.
RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer North East and East on 07824 518614 or at

Tony Small

The wooden horses in action

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.