Local businessman chips in to raise vital funds
2021 begins with a ray of hope for fundraising.
A challenging 2020 saw the closure of station shops, the cancellation of many fundraising events, including our own annual charity Car Wash and Open Day, and falling revenues across the Institution due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, 2021 has begun at RNLI Walmer with a fundraiser with a difference. Following the success of a similar event last year, local businessman Tom Ledger’s Leaf Tree Services held a Christmas tree chipping event adjacent to the lifeboat station on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 January. Tom, who is also a firefighter in London freely gave up his time over two days to help raise much needed funds for the Institution. Prior to starting a Certificate of Thanks was presented to Tom for his fundraising for the station last year.
A small-fenced compound for a tree drop-off was established a week beforehand with anyone wishing to take their tree prior to the event being able to make a donation via a Just Giving page or by posting an envelope through the letterbox in the boathouse door while the area was unmanned.
The event was social distance compliant and long-term supporters of Walmer lifeboat, Alistair and Lisa Basset, owners of The Goose on the Green café in Walmer offered a free hot drink for anyone bringing their tree. The event was advertised locally on BBC Radio Kent, including a live interview with Walmer helm Dan Sinclair on the Saturday morning.
Over the course of the two days over four hundred trees were chipped raising more than £1200. One donation of £100 was made by the President of Deal Chamber of Trade Peter Varrall who brought 120 trees which had decorated Deal High Street over the Christmas period.
Added to this is the continued success of the Betty’s 5p Pots scheme which has so far raised £17,275 since it began in February 2019, including over £2,200 collected from local businesses during the lockdown period.
We are constantly amazed by the continued generosity and support shown by the people of Walmer, Deal and the surrounding area which enables us to keep our lifeboats on service.
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.