Whitstable lifeboat Just Giving page generates valuable funds
Whitstable Lifeboat relies heavily on the generosity of the public in donating funds to enable the volunteer crew to provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast
One major generator of income for the station is the souvenir shop and galley but during the current Covid-19 pandemic the shop has been closed due to it being an integral part of the station and the need to protect members of the crew from the risk of infection from the virus in order to keep the station operational.
To counter the loss of income the RNLI has set up 'Just Giving' pages for its stations and Whitstable lifeboat crewmember and trainee helmsman Liam Sidders who has been overseeing the administration of the Whitstable page said 'The response has been amazing, so far raising nearly £3391 for lifeboat funds from contributors and exceeding the £2000 target'.
Continued Liam 'Help in publicising the page has come from a most unexpected source. Harriet Inglis who runs her locally based business 'Spacemask's has been promoting our fundraising campaign through her popular Instagram account @spacemasks. Through her actions she has helped raised much of that total'.
Said Harriet 'I saw the Whitstable lifeboat Just Giving page and posted some Instagram stories about the page and the station's fund raising activities asking my followers to give a donation and it has just taken off. My business makes 'self heating eye masks to help people sleep and relax and I have stockists worldwide including three locally and I am delighted to have been able to help the Whitstable Branch of the RNLI and its volunteer crews in this way'.
Continued Liam 'Harriet's efforts in helping us to promote the Just Giving page have been invaluable but we have also had assistance in fund raising from V.C. Jones Fish and Chip shop in Harbour Street who have donated £100 to our page'
Madeleine Jones of V.C. Jones said Since our business was started in 1962 we have done whatever we can to support the RNLI and as many of our customers visit the beach my daughter in law Heather Scott has raised £200 of which half is going to the Just Giving page. The other half is going to the 'Pay in Forward' scheme that provides hot meals to people in need.
Liam Sidders commented 'so far there have been around 185 supporters to the page and we thank them all. Their donations have been most valuable at this difficult time with the pandemic affecting our traditional fundraising efforts and the closure of our shop. So far this year the lifeboat and its volunteer crews have launched on 49 ocaisions with the weeks following the easing of lockdown restrictions being very busy. Our 'Just Giving' page is still live and can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rnliwhitstablebranchlifesavers, again we thank everybody who as contributed.
Notes to editors
Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.
The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.
She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.
RNLI media contacts
Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
07741 012004/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 Paul_Dunt@rnli.org.uk
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
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.