Two Donations help to keep Whitstable Lifeboat in Service
As with any charity the RNLI and Whitstable Lifeboat are dependant on the efforts of those who tirelessly work to support the institution and its volunteer crews, not only the volunteer fundraisers within the organization but those who support the RNLI from outside.
Staff at the M&S Whitstable Foodhall have raised £3911 for the lifeboat. Sam Treby, Manager at the store said “We have raised the money over the two years from the store's opening and we chose the Whitstable RNLI because we felt that the lifeboat was an important part of the community and is heavily reliant on donations”.
“70% of the money was raised through customer donations and in addition we did various 'in store' activities such as a cake stall, bike ride and a bucket challenge with the end result being a £3911 donation to the lifeboat station”.
The lifeboat station has also received another donation of £1400 from the family and friends of late David Cooper who owned the Conyer Boatyard near Teynham and who have been supporters of the lifeboat in his memory since he passed away two year's ago.
David's daughter Claire Hogg who made the presentation of the money said “My dad was brought up from a very young age on the water as his father owned Conyer boat yard near Teynham and he spent many weekends out on the Swale sailing or helping his dad out in the yard, a love he continued all through his adult life including, taking all his four children out on the boats, but only after we all taught to swim at a very early age and had life jackets made for us”.
“I remember from a very early age having it drummed into us that you always respected the sea and how powerful it could be. His loves of the water continued in later life by either holidaying on cruise boats or helping a friend bring holiday boats back from other countries”.
“Unfortunately we lost dad very suddenly in a tragic accident and as a family we wanted to honour his memory by doing something that he was passionate about and we knew straight away that as he was a lifelong supporter of the R N L I that they would be our perfect choice”.
“This was our second year fundraising with events such as cake and coffee mornings, a raffle; guess how many shells in the bucket and a ‘find the lost sailor with the R N L I’ boat on a map”.
“We also set a challenge to the husbands to make and decorate an R N L I boat cake, a task they took very seriously after saying that they couldn’t see why people made cake making look so difficult a comment they soon learned to regret which was judged anonymously at a coffee morning”.
“We are happy to think that we make just a small difference to helping save lives and in the process helping us remember dad”.
Diane Randall, Chairman of the Whitstable Branch of the RNLI said “To both M&S and their customers and the Cooper family and their friends we offer our thanks for their efforts and also to all the other individuals and organizations who support Whitstable Lifeboat and the RNLI. The RNLI has 238 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland and it costs £447,000 per day to run the service nationally so we at Whitstable and the wider RNLI are dependent on the support and donations raised by various groups and individuals of which both M&S Whitstable and the Cooper family are two splendid examples of our supporters, again we thank them both”.
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.