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Rhyl RNLI receive massive £55,000 boost towards new lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Today, the RNLI is celebrating the massive donation which equates to over a third of the £150,000 community appeal towards a new Shannon class lifeboat. The huge cash injection is thanks to the Steve Morgan Foundation, which has given fundraising a momentous boost with a donation of £55,000.

Gosia McKane, Development and Project Manager for the Steve Morgan Foundation presents the £55,000 cheque to the RNLI

RNLI/Danielle Rush

Gosia McKane, Development and Project Manager for the Steve Morgan Foundation presents the £55,000 cheque to the RNLI

The RNLI can officially reveal the Shannon class lifeboat is due to arrive in Rhyl in 2019, much to the excitement of the volunteer crew. The modern, state-of-the-art lifeboat is larger, faster, more manoeuvrable and safer and therefore has the potential to save more lives off the north Wales coast.

Fundraising was kick-started last year when Brendan O’Carroll, the star of hit BBC comedy Mrs Brown's Boys, shocked Rhyl RNLI volunteers by announcing on stage in the Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl that he would donate £10,000 towards the Shannon-class lifeboat.

Since then, the RNLI charity has been overwhelmed by the generosity of the Rhyl community who have given so generously towards the appeal which already stands at almost £98,000.

Deb Mahon, Community Fundraising Manager for north Wales says:

‘This really is typical of a community like Rhyl – always setting the bar high, their generosity never ceases to amaze us. To be at such a fantastic figure already is quite simply phenomenal. We now hope everyone gets behind the station to help raise the remaining total.’

The station is extremely grateful to Denbighshire County Council Chairman Cllr Pete Prendergast who has provided them with unwavering support since announcing the RNLI was the council’s charity of the year.

Cllr Prendergast says:

‘The volunteers of Rhyl RNLI do such a fantastic job serving this community, I wanted to do anything I could to support their fundraising efforts. When I heard the station had been allocated a Shannon I wrote to a number of large businesses to see if there was anything they could do to help. I was amazed when the Steve Morgan Foundation agreed to donate £55,000, what a fantastic boost to the appeal. I now hope people continue to support the appeal to show the whole of Wales what a fantastic community we have here.

‘Whether it be a one-off donation or a fundraising event, everyone has pulled together and every penny really does count.’

A collection during Rhyl Air Show raised in excess of £3,000 over a weekend of fundraising.

Money was donated by the Lon Las Loonies, a group of cycling enthusiasts who cycled 350 miles over four days from Rhyl to Cardiff, the ‘long way down’. The cyclists raised £10,375 for the RNLI.

Local fundraising group Belief who raise money for local people and local causes, braved the icy sea by taking part in the new year’s dip at the lifeboat station raising over £1,000. The event itself raised more than £3,000.

One of the most recent donations was received from an RNLI night in the Cob and Pen pub, Rhyl on Saturday (24 February). A 70s/80s night and a raffle for a signed Manchester United Shirt raised £600 and was boosted by a £500 cheque from a member of the public.

Steve Morgan, Founder and Chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation says:

‘Much of my early work was undertaken in Denbighshire and over the last 10 years the Foundation has made an increasing commitment of funding to deserving causes across north Wales, with a particular focus on improving life chances for disabled and disadvantaged people. A high proportion of our fleet of over 65 Smiley Buses has also been donated to north Wales, providing essential transport in isolated rural areas.

‘The trustees were impressed with the energy local people have dedicated to the fund-raising appeal and recognise the huge commitment made each and every day by the volunteer crew. They have been pleased to make a substantial contribution for the new Shannon class lifeboat, which undoubtedly will save many lives.’

The new lifeboat brings 21st century technology to Denbighshire. Driven and steered by water jets instead of the conventional propellers and rudders, the Shannon can turn in her own length or stop almost instantly making going alongside a casualty to take off casualties a much safer option.

The increased speed of 25 knots as against 17 knots for the current Mersey class lifeboat on Station at Rhyl mean that casualties can be reached sooner in desperate situations where conditions are rapidly deteriorating.

The Shannon is designed for the safety of the crew, as well as rescued survivors, with better seating and full seat belt safety harnesses. The design of the vessel’s electronics (called SIMS – Systems Information and Management Systems) with a display at all seats mean that crew members do not need to get up to change seats if changing roles in severe weather. A press of a button will allow the functions required to control the vessel to be transferred between the seating positions.

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Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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 142,200 lives.

Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland and registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736)

About the Steve Morgan Foundation (registered charity no 1087056)

The Steve Morgan Foundation (previously The Morgan Foundation) was created in 2001 by Steve Morgan CBE. Since then it has committed over £300m of funding.

Born in Liverpool, Steve Morgan, 64, is the founder and Non Executive Chairman of Redrow plc. Steve is also Chairman of the Bridgemere Group of Companies, which has significant land and commercial development interests.

For more information contact Jane Harris, Administrator, tel: 01829 782808


An RNLI night in the Cob and Pen pub, Rhyl, helped to boost the appeal

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