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Dobbies Garden Centre of Birtley’s support of RNLI is a blooming success

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) recently presented Dobbies Garden Centre in Birtley with a special plaque in recognition of their vital fundraising support to the charity.

RNLI/Lesley Robson

The presentation at Dobbies

David Hastings, RNLI Secretary of Durham Fundraising Branch, presented members of the team at Birtley with a plaque inscribed with the ‘Thanks’ of’ the RNLI. This was in recognition of the store raising £10,000 through Betty’s 5p Pots.

Betty’s Pots are the small jars that provide jam or marmalade in hotels and restaurants. The RNLI uses empty donated pots and distributes them to local businesses. People can pick up a pot from a venue that’s in the scheme and then return it once it’s filled with five pence pieces.

The RNLI first joined forces with Dobbies in 1999, when Dobbies won the Chelsea Flower Show with their floral arrangement of a lifeboat on a slipway. This was later reproduced at the Gateshead Flower Show.

Dobbies at Birtley began its support with an RNLI collecting box in the store which led to Betty’s 5p Pots being introduced in 2015.

David Hastings, RNLI Secretary of Durham Fundraising Branch, said: ‘I was delighted to present the plaque to the team at Birtley in recognition of their support of the Betty’s 5p pots scheme. £10,000 is an amazing amount and such vital donations enable our charity to continue its role of saving lives at sea.

‘I’d also like to extend sincere thanks to everyone who has collected, washed and donated the pots. Special thanks must also go to all the generous people who have taken and returned pots to Dobbies Garden Centre.’

Audrey Garton, Birtley Store Manager at Dobbies Garden Centres, said: ‘The RNLI does incredible work here in Birtley and across the country, and we’re extremely proud to support the charity. It’s down to our hard-working team members and loyal customers that we’ve been able to reach this milestone, and we look forward to continuing our fundraising efforts.’

RNLI Photo caption

1.The photograph shows from left to right: Marian Coats and Sandra Lloyd (Dobbies Garden Centre, Birtley) David Hastings (RNLI) and Audrey Garton (Dobbies Garden Centre, Birtley Store Manager). Credit: RNLI, Lesley Robson.

2. A photograph of the plaque that was presented. Credit: RNLI, Lesley Robson.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer (North East & East) on: 07824 518641 or email: [email protected]

RNLI/Lesley Robson

The plaque that was presented

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.