RNLI Fundraiser Wins Car After Years of Support for Lifesaving Charity

Lifeboats News Release

An RNLI fundraiser, whose father was saved by the charity, has been the lucky winner of a car after taking part in this year’s Kiltwalk.

Claire McRae with her new car from Arnold Clark won at this year's Kiltwalk

Arnold Clark

Claire McRae with her new car from Arnold Clark won at this year's Kiltwalk

Claire McRae from Saltcoats has been fundraising from the RNLI since her father was rescued by volunteers from Largs RNLI after a diving accident in 2008. Claire has taken part in many events for the RNLI including previous Kiltwalks and the Glasgow to Edinburgh cycle for which she was also joined by her father. This year Claire plans to run the Berlin marathon on behalf of the RNLI and is taking part in the virtual Boston marathon. However, it came as a complete surprise when she found out last week that she was one of two winners of a brand-new Hyundai i20.

Paul Cooney, CEO of The Kiltwalk said: “Across the weekend, 11,000 people took on their own Kiltwalk challenge, all in aid of 1,055 well-deserving charities across Scotland. We were so pleased to surprise Claire with the news that she had won a brand-new Hyundai i20 along with our incredible headline sponsor, Arnold Clark, who blow us away every year with their generosity.”

Speaking about why she fundraises for the RNLI, Claire said: “I started fundraising for the RNLI when my Dad was rescued after a diving accident. It made me realise that people take for granted that, should they get into difficulty then the people in ‘the big orange boat’ will come and rescue them. However, so many people don’t realise that the RNLI is a charity and most of their people are volunteers.

“My Dad’s accident was terrifying for all of us. At the time, Dad was a very experienced diver, he had a plan, he had a backup plan and he had his dive group but things still went wrong. Nobody goes out expecting something bad to happen to them but when it does you just hope the right people are there to help.

“Dad was so fortunate to have help from the RNLI, the Coastguard Rescue Team and the Royal Navy helicopter. I knew I wanted to give something back and for me the best option was to start fundraising for the RNLI.”

Congratulating Claire on her fundraising efforts and win, Eddie Hawthorne, Chief Executive and Group Managing Director of Arnold Clark said: "A massive congratulations to Claire McRae who was one of the winners of our Virtual Kiltwalk competition – she’ll be taking home a brand-new Hyundai i20 for all her amazing efforts. Claire raised money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution this year after her Dad was rescued by volunteers from Largs RNLI thirteen years ago. We’re delighted that we could award her for her efforts, and we hope she enjoys her new wheels!

"Claire was one of over 11,000 people to take part in the Virtual Kiltwalk this year and raise vital funds for charities all over Scotland – we’re so happy to get behind such a great cause."

Speaking about her lucky win Claire said:

“You obviously just don’t expect anything like that but what a surprise. It didn’t sink in until I saw the car sitting in my drive. This year, with the Kiltwalk being virtual, we were able to pick our own route and it made our walk even more personal. We walked around Great Cumbrae which is where my Dad was rescued and was so fortunate to have access to the hyperbaric chamber which was situated there at the time. At the end of the walk, we made sure to include a loop to Largs RNLI Lifeboat Station. It seemed like a very fitting circuit to do.

“There’s a great camaraderie between RNLI fundraisers and I always wave at others who are sporting an RNLI bib. The Kiltwalk is a particularly great event to do and benefits the RNLI even more due to the Hunter Trust topping up people’s donations by a further 50% this year!”

Lynsey Anderson, Community Manager for the RNLI, said: “It’s always great working with fundraisers who have such a passionate connection to us, Claire’s commitment to fundraising for us and her Dad’s rescue story are really moving. We’re so grateful for anyone who supports us through their fundraising efforts as we rely entirely on public generosity to fund our lifesaving work. The Kiltwalk and Hunter Trust opportunity is just fantastic, this is the fifth year that the Hunter Trust have kindly topped up donations. We hope more people will pledge to walk for us next year too.”

Anyone interested in doing their own fundraising on behalf of the RNLI for Kiltwalk can find more information at thekiltwalk.co.uk and contact the RNLI via their website rnli.org

Notes to editors

· Claire McRae is available to discuss her fundraising for the RNLI – arrange via Gemma McDonald.

· Images are credited to Arnold Clark or Claire McRae – please check file name for appropriate credit.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Gemma McDonald, RNLI Media Manager (Scotland) gemma_mcdonald@rnli.org.uk 07826 900639

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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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.