Schoolgirls’ pocket money helps Rhyl RNLI smash £150,000 appeal

Lifeboats News Release

A final £150.60 donation from Rhyl RNLI’s biggest fan Darcey Payne-Burgoyne has closed the £150,000 community appeal towards the station’s Shannon class lifeboat.

Darcey Payne, five, donating her pocket money and other monies raised (just over £180) to close the Rhyl RNLI Shannon appeal.

RNLI/Danielle Rush

Darcey Payne, five, donating her pocket money and other monies raised (just over £180) to close the Rhyl RNLI Shannon appeal.

The Ysgol Bryn Hedydd pupil, who is a regular visitor to the station is delighted to have handed over her pocket money to ensure the crew can receive their modern new lifeboat later this year.

Darcey’s mum Stacey said:

‘Darcey from an early age has always been fascinated by the lifeboat especially Lil Cunningham always referring to it as 'her' boat. Darcey has a mini crew kit that she likes to regularly wear down to the station. She goes down as often as she can to watch the lifeboat launch and recover on exercise. The Rhyl RNLI family have always gone out of their way to speak to Darcey and to teach her things about Lil Cunningham which has just made her determined to raise funds for her RNLI family to get a new boat.

‘Darcey has been supported by her school helping raise money towards the appeal and the lovely staff and doctors at Gwyrch Medical Centre who kindly collect all their loose change for Darcey and 'her' boat. Darcey was lucky enough to start the appeal with a £30 donation and has a further £150.60 to donate.

‘As sad as she is to be losing 'her' Mersey class lifeboat 12-24, she is secretly excited for the new Shannon and all the new exciting things she will get to learn about it’.

Support for the appeal has exceeded expectations, with the crew receiving praise from the charity’s Chief Executive for their hard work achieving the total in less than a year.

The station is extremely grateful to former 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.

Debs Mahon, Community Fundraising Manager for the RNLI in north Wales says:

‘To have smashed this target in such a short period of time is a phenomenal achievement and really is a testament to the status of Rhyl lifeboat in the community. I really want to offer my heartfelt thank you to all involved on station for their hard work, but also to the community who have dug deep to ensure we reached our total in less than a year!’

The Shannon class lifeboat is due to arrive in Rhyl later this year, 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.

In March 2018, Rhyl RNLI celebrated a massive £55,000 cash injection thanks to the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Since then, the RNLI charity has been overwhelmed by the generosity of the Rhyl community who have given so generously towards the appeal.

Events such as the Dyserth Duck Race, the first Rhyl RNLI music festive and the annual Rhyl RNLI harbour raft race have all been well supported by the community. The Rhyl RNLI festive dip, the biggest yet, gave the appeal a £3,000 boost.

Support also came from further afield with the Crewe and Nantwich RNLI Fundraising Branch Festival at Overwater Mariner, in Audlem, Cheshire. The crew and lifeguards took equipment to display at the event and supported their raft race on the canal.

Collection boxes across the area have seen a marked increase in donations and thanks to a dedicated team there has been a large increase in the number of boxes hosted by businesses across the area.

Funds have come in from RNLI fundraising branches across the country, from as far afield as Cambridge, Congleton and Manchester with a particular special mention to the Stafford and Rugeley branch who have veen unwavering in their support.

There has been a huge number of donations from groups and individuals from dance groups to ladies clubs, mens clubs and individuals donating their birthday money to the ensuring the crew reached their target.

Rhyl RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Darrel Crowther said:

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.


Media Opportunity: There will be an opportunity to interview RNLI crew, fundraisers who have generously supported Rhyl’s £150,000 appeal. Darcey Payne-Burgoyne and mum Stacey will also be present.

Where: Rhyl RNLI Lifeboat Station

Date: Monday, 28 January 3.30pm

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 01745 585162 or 07786 668829. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email

Darcey Payne with Rhyl RNLI Coxswain Martin Jones

RNLI/Danielle Rush

Darcey Payne with Rhyl RNLI Coxswain Martin Jones

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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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