Canterbury Inner Wheel Club cook up a fine cheque for Whitstable RNLI

Lifeguards News Release

The challenges of fund raising for good causes during the Covid pandemic have not proved an obstacle for the Canterbury Inner Wheel Club who have made a very generous donation of £1685 to the Whitstable Lifeboat at a presentation in front of the lifeboat station on Sunday afternoon.

Members of the Canterbury Inner Wheel Club, Sheila Cragg, Treasurer Tina Sloman, President Pauline Pybus, President and Philippa Davies present the cheque for £1685 to RNLI Education Liaison Volunteer Gerry Skinner and Kellie Gray, Chairman of the Whitstable Branch of the RNLI at the lifeboat station on Sunday evening.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Members of the Canterbury Inner Wheel Club, Sheila Cragg, Treasurer Tina Sloman, President Pauline Pybus, President and Philippa Davies present the cheque for £1685 to RNLI Education Liaison Volunteer Gerry Skinner and Kellie Gray, Chairman of the Whitstable Branch of the RNLI at the lifeboat station on Sunday evening.

The monies are half the proceeds of the club's lockdown fund-raising efforts with the other half going to the Smile Train UK charity for children suffering from a cleft lip and palate.

Club President Pauline Pybus said 'Many of our members are keen supporters of the lifeboat and we raised the funds by means of coffee mornings for up to 6 persons when the Covid restrictions allowed, donations and by the production of a cookery book which featured recopies created by our members inspired by family memories and special occasions.

The book which contains all manner of recipes ranging from starters such as chilled cucumber soup or spinach and bacon stuffed mushrooms, through fish courses featuring for example Monkfish Thornbury Castle style to main courses such as sweet and sour aubergine with sweet potato curry or Stilton, walnut and new potato tart and sweets such as chocolate biscuit crunch and vegan banana cake. The book contains a forward by RNLI Education Liaison Volunteer and Community Presenter Gerry Skinner and Smile Train UK's Jonathan Roberts.

Chairman of the Whitstable Fundraising Branch of the RNLI Kellie Gray said 'The cheque presented to us by the Canterbury Inner Wheel Club represents a magnificent effort on their part in fund raising for us and Smile Train UK through what has been a very difficult period for all charities and fund raising causes'.

'Last year was one of the busiest for the lifeboat in recent years and the money will go towards the continuing running costs of the Whitstable Lifeboat station which as of this week has already answered 15 calls. We are expecting a very busy summer with more people visiting the area due to the continuing pandemic and restrictions on travel abroad and our thanks go to the Canterbury Inner Wheel club and all of our other supporters who enable our volunteer lifeboat crews to continue to save lives at sea' and by the way, our souvenir shop still has a few copies of the Inner Wheel cookery book available at £5.00'.

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/ nativephoto@hotmail.com

  • Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 Paul_Dunt@rnli.org.u

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789





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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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