Bringing the ‘Harvest Home’ to RNLI Rye Harbour and Hastings

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 8 December in the The New Beach Club at Pett Level there was a rather special cheque presentation

A cheque is presented by 'Sparra' to RNLI volunteers from Rye Harbour and Hastings

RNLI/KT Bruce

'Sparra' with RNLI volunteers from Rye Harbour and Hastings

Steve "Sparra" Harris handed cheques for £1,050 to representatives from Rye Harbour and Hastings lifeboat stations. The money had been raised at a charity auction, held in the club at the end of September, of gifts donated by the people of Pett and Pett level. This annual fund-raising drive is now in its sixty-seventh year and has a fascinating history rooted in the support coastal communities give to those at sea.

Back in 1951 the loss of a Hull trawler with all hands prompted a national appeal by that city's mayor to which folk in far off Pett Level responded, particularly those families with men working as coastguards. This first auction of donations, called ‘Harvest Home’ because of the time of year it took place, was so successful that it has been repeated every year since then, the proceeds going to local RNLI stations.

Peter Adams, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Hastings, said, 'We really appreciate the support: it helps us carry out our mission to save lives at sea. I have a personal interest as my father used to be the auctioneer for the event. '

'This is a cause dear to my heart,’ said Sparra, one of those involved since the very beginning, ‘to be carrying on a tradition decades old. It's a real team effort and a pleasure to be part of. '

RNLI Media contacts

· Martin Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 martinthebruce@gmail.com

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

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 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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 or by email.

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

Joseph Brown, Rye Harbour crew member, doubles as auctioneer at the charity event

RNLI/KT Bruce

Joseph Brown, Rye Harbour crew member, doubles as auctioneer
Peter Adams, Hastings LOM, receives the donation cheque from 'Sparra'

RNLI/KT Bruce

Peter Adams, Hastings LOM, receives the donation cheque from 'Sparra'
Tony Peters and Sharon Gozna, Rye Harbour crew, receive the donation cheque from 'Sparra'

RNLI/KT Bruce

Tony Peters and Sharon Gozna, Rye Harbour crew, with 'Sparra'

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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.

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