RNLI and ManxSPCA to share generous £100,000 legacy

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI – the charity that saves lives and sea and ManxSPCA – the islands’ only all-animal rescue charity have each received a cheque for £50,000, thanks to a legacy from the late Betty Small.


The kind gift is accepted on behalf of all station's on the Isle of Man by Douglas RNLI Mechanic Tony Radcliffe

The RNLI will split the kind donation between the five RNLI lifeboat stations on the Isle of Man and ensure volunteer crews on the island can continue saving lives at sea.

Mrs Small, from Braddan, made the bequest to the RNLI to celebrate the island being the spiritual home of the RNLI. Douglas resident Sir William Hillary founded the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck in 1824, the organisation which later became the RNLI.

Mrs Small’s family visited Douglas RNLI Lifeboat Station to hand over the cheque to be shared between Peel, Ramsey, Port St Mary, Port Erin and Douglas to Douglas RNLI Mechanic Tony Radcliffe.

Tony says:

‘As a charity which relies on voluntary contributions and legacies for income, we are immensely grateful to the late Mrs Small for this most generous gift. It was a pleasure to meet her family and to accept this most generous donation on behalf of the five RNLI lifeboat stations on the island.’

The ManxSPCA, the Island’s only all-animal rescue charity, was delighted to receive the sum of £50,000. The executor of the estate, Guy Varley, presented a cheque to Liam Rice, PR and Fundraising Co-ordinator for the ManxSPCA in the charity’s cattery, accompanied by his wife, Joan, who was a close friend of the Betty’s for many years. The couple were accompanied by their grandchildren and another close friend, Mary Joyce.

Liam expressed the charity’s gratitude and said:

‘We believe that Betty had several dogs and cats over the years, and it’s wonderful that she has made provision for the care of so any more companion animals in her will.’

Notes to editors

To find out more about RNLI Gift in Wills, please visit: https://rnli.org/support-us/give-money/leave-a-gift-in-your-will

Media Contacts

ManxSPCA contact: Juana Warburton, General Manager - [email protected]/851672

RNLI: Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Wales, the West and the Isle of Man on 07786 668829.


L-R: Joan Varley, Guy Varley; Mary Joyce, Liam Rice, Avon the cat, Chloe and Cora Kitching holding a photograph of Betty Small

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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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.