Children from Chernobyl charity visit RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Station

Lifeboats News Release

Youngsters from Belarus toured RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Station on Thursday 13 June, on a visit organised by Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCLL) and Morrisons. Part of a day of entertainment, 15 children from nine to 12 years, spent around an hour learning about the lifesaving charity’s work.

Group picture with the children wearing fleeces and hats while waving RNLI scarves

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

The children showcase their goody bag gifts as they line up with RNLI lifeboat crew

Following a face-painting session at Morrisons New Brighton, the children – who are all affected by cancer in some way – toured the RNLI lifeboat station, where volunteer crew took the group through the workings of the lifeboat and tractor, as well as giving them an up-close look at drysuits, lifejackets and helmets.

RNLI Helm Jay Hennessey said: ‘As a lifeboat station we’re always enthusiastic about hosting parties of children on visits, but this one touched us all.

'With so many of us parents ourselves, from lifeboat crew to shop volunteers we couldn’t do enough for them. The boys and girls all seemed to enjoy their time with us whether at the lifeboat, tractor or trying on our crew kit. That makes it special for us too.’

Individual donations by the RNLI volunteers saw the children leave with mementos of their time at the boathouse.

Lifeboat crew presented each child with a polo shirt and a fleece embroidered with the RNLI New Brighton logo and a representation of its inshore lifeboat, while the shop volunteers contributed an RNLI cap and wind-up torch, as well as a goody bag that included stationery items, badges and stickers.

Around 12 members of the school choir from Seacombe's Riverside Primary, who sang for everyone at the RNLI boathouse, also went home with a goody bag courtesy of RNLI shop volunteers and Morrisons.

CCLL states that land-locked Belarus was the republic most affected by the April 1986 incident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, with more than 70% of the republic affected by the radioactive fallout. As a result, thousands are born each year – or go on to develop – thyroid cancer, bone cancer and leukaemia. For more information on CCLL visit

Back of children in foreground with two helms facing the camera as they demonstrate the crew

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

RNLI Helm Jay Hennessey talks to the children about the lifeboat crew kit worn by Helm Dan Wardle
Helm crouching behind two boys with one in a helmet and one in a lifejacket

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

Children trying on some of the crew kit alongside Helm Dan Wardle
Side on to the camera a group of children surround Paul as he talks about the tractor

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

RNLI Crew Member Paul Lees chats to the children about the tractor

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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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