With fundraising events cancelled, RNLI Portishead volunteer Lauren and her friend Tim have come up with an amazing way to support their local lifesavers.
They will be walking more than a marathon a day to complete the Thames Path in order to try and raise the money the RNLI shop would normally take in a whole week.
Lauren volunteers at the RNLI shop in Portishead and friend Tim, who both live locally, will be taking up the challenge of walking the 184 miles, the entire length of the River Thames in record time*. They will start their walk at the source of the Thames in Kemble and follow it until they reach the Thames Barrier.
Lauren and Tim will start on Friday 25th September and, by walking more than a marathon distance of 42km (26 miles) a day, they plan to finish their 7 day epic fundraiser on Thursday 1st October.
Lauren and Tim want to complete this gruelling challenge to help raise lifesaving money for RNLI Portishead and hope to raise the equivalent of a whole week’s shop takings. Lauren and Tim want to show their admiration and respect for the volunteers that keep the station running and help keep the vital lifesaving service up and running.
Following strict Government guidelines, the lifeboat rescue service has remained fully operational and on call 24/7 since lockdown began on 23rd March. During that time the volunteers have been called out 26 times (correct at the time of going to print). Whist the volunteer crew and lifeboat are always ready to respond, the RNLI shop has been forced to close in order to protect the shop volunteers and their valued customers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, the shop has now been able to reopen and are now welcoming their customers back, sadly all other fundraising activities are still on hold for now.
Lauren and Tim are both experienced open water swimmers and are very aware of the dangers posed by the massive tides in our area and know only too well that the value of the rescue service provided by the RNLI is vital.
Every day of every year people of all backgrounds get into danger in and near the water. At Portishead the tides and mud are major factors. 60% of the people rescued by the RNLI had no intention of entering the water. The RNLI is always there to help walkers, beach goers, people stuck in the mud or on the sandbanks cut off by the tide and of course the boating and sailing community. The RNLI provides a 24/7 search and rescue lifeboat service to save lives at sea. Every single day the RNLI rescue an average of 23 people
The RNLI is a charity and fundraising has been hit hard by the Covid 19 crisis. Many local fundraising opportunities have been lost so this is a great way to show your support for Portishead RNL and the two wonderful volunteers undertaking this massive challenge.
Our volunteer lifeboat crews have never stopped being there for our community when they find themselves in danger, this is your chance to be there for them. If you can support Lauren and Tim and make a donation no matter how big or small, to this challenge, YOU will be helping to Save Lives At Sea!
Thank you for your continued support!
*This is not an official Guinness World Record attempt.
RNLI notes to editors
1 - Lauren and Tim outside the lifesaving shop at the Portishead lifeboat station
2 – Lauren and Tim off on a training day
3 – Lauren and Tim off on a training day
4 – RNLI Portishead crew launching on service
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Helen Lazenby, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07800 595995 or the RNLI Press Office 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.
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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.