Awesome amount raised in Aith for RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The crew of the Aith Lifeboat have thanked the community for their fundraising efforts, after nearly £10,000 was raised in support of the station.


Members of the Aith Lifeboat Gala Committee

The weekend of fundraising – on the 4th, 5th and 6th of June – was organised by the Aith Lifeboat Gala Committee, in the absence of their normal annual event, which was called off for the second year in a row due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Local businesses, craftspeople and members of the community all chipped in – donating and buying prizes such as baking, knitwear and boat trips – plus a vast and varied range of other local products, services and island experiences.

The highest single amount paid for an auction prize was £260, for a bespoke RNLI bear – specially made and donated by local craftwork company ‘Burra Bears’ for the occasion. The online auction – carried out through Facebook – raised a total of £6842 itself, added to by donations and profits from a takeaway supper night organised by volunteers at the Aith Community Hall.

Aith Lifeboat Coxswain John Robertson himself offered up a ‘Coxswain’s Carrot Cake’, which fetched £75 towards the auction total.

“What an awesome amount to be raised by our community over the course of just one weekend. The support for the RNLI, and the generosity towards our fundraisers in Shetland, never fails to amaze me and the crew. A huge thanks to everyone who donated – and also to our dedicated team of organisers who have gone above and beyond to raise a record amount!”

The Aith Lifeboat Gala event had been running on an annual basis since 1972, as a celebration of the Aith community and its ties to the RNLI – normally raising around £6000 for the local lifeboat station every year

Frances Moffat, member of the organising Gala Committee, hopes that the community can gather in person again to celebrate the 2022 Gala in style – for what will be the event’s 50th anniversary.

“A huge thank you to everyone who made bids or donations, put forward auction items, or enjoyed our takeaway food over the course of the weekend. Special thanks to the local trawlers: Radiant Star, Mizpah & Venture for kindly donating fish and helping with costs.

“We are extremely proud of our lifeboat here in Aith and are always happy to show our support to the crew. The benefit of moving the Gala online has been that folk from all over Shetland – and even further afield – could help raise money for this charity that means so much in our nautical community. Thanks to everyone for taking part!”

Note to editors

Aith lifeboat station has been operating for over 80 years, and is the most northerly in the UK. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

RNLI media contacts

Daniel Lawson, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07765560695

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Media Officer for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639,[email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Dave Riley

The Aith Lifeboat Charles Lidbury pictured during Shetland's 'simmer dim' of long summer days

Burra Bears

Burra Bears kindly donated this item, made from a vintage RNLI woolly jumper. It's named John o 'Da Wirlie' after Aith RNLI coxswain John Robertson.

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.