£10,000 raised for Hartlepool RNLI volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

A recent sponsored 3 day 210 mile cycle ride from Hartlepool to Edinburgh following the ‘Coast and Castles’ route and a £5,000 anonymous donation has raised £10,000 for the Hartlepool RNLI

RNLI/Tom Collins

The fundraising RNLI team pictured at Edinburgh.

Sleeping on lifeboat station floors at Amble and Eyemouth the six intrepid cyclists that included three Hartlepool RNLI crew members, Tom Collins, Andrew Johnson and Darren Killick along with fellow cyclists Steve Bell, Noel Cornforth and Wayne Platt took three days to reach Edinburgh Castle and before heading back to Hartlepool five of the cyclists completed a 5k Park Run’.

Battling through driving rain, strong winds, freezing cold fog and hot spells the fundraisers completed the journey at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle on a Friday evening where they were met by their support team, sponsors and several supporters.

Cyclist Steve Bell said ‘The three day journey was very demanding in parts with some of the hills pushing our fitness levels to the limit but the scenery along the route was outstanding’.

‘Our support team members that included my wife Mandy who drove the support van and kept us fed and watered throughout the journey and bike mechanic Tom Mc Namara of East Coast Cycles at Redcar were brilliant along with our good friends Fiona Jagger and Andy Hogg and without all our sponsors we couldn't have completed the ride without them’.

‘We even had a long distance delivery of pork pies waiting for us at Amble lifeboat station from our sponsors at ‘The Farm Shop’ on Murray Street in Hartlepool’.

‘We also had tremendous support and donations from members of the public along the route and it was brilliant to finish in the splendid surroundings of Edinburgh Castle where tourists crowded around us to have their photographs taken with us’.

Darren Killick a crew member at the Ferry Road lifeboat station said ‘Fortunately we all trained very hard before the ride as we knew there were some difficult stages we had to tackle but overall it was a very enjoyable three days but taking part in the 5k Park Run on Saturday morning near Leith was a real test’.

‘Despite the team suffering a total of 12 punctures, a couple of ‘fallers’ and a few ‘near misses’ it’s certainly been a journey myself and the team will never forget and to top it all that fantastic anonymous donation of £5,000 was extremely generous’.

‘Most importantly we have raised some money to help save lives at sea’.

Speaking after the cheque presentation that was held in the 'Fishermans Arms' at the Headland the Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboats Operations Manager Chris Hornsey said 'This is a fantastic amount of money that the team have raised from their bike ride along with the amazing very generous donation to double the amount. Well done to everyone involved'.

'The money will help provide our volunteer crew members with the best kit, training and running costs at the station'.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Pictured during the cheque presentation are back row (left to right) Tom Collins, Darren Killick, Chris Hornsey, Andy Johnston, Noel Cornforth, Tommy Price, Fiona Jagger and Steve and Mandy Bell with Andy Hogg and Wayne Platt(right) kneeling at the front.

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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