8,000 5p pieces in aid of the RNLI collected by St Thomas’ C of E Aided Primary

Lifeboats News Release

8,000…… that’s a whole lot of 5p’s and they weigh 26,000 gms

RNLI/KT Bruce

House Captains and Mrs Carol Gardiner at St Thomas' school with 8,000 5p pieces


During the pandemic St Thomas’s children have collected lots and lots of 5p’s to help their local RNLI station, Rye Harbour. They were really excited by the project and raised £400, which is an amazing result.

Why the 5p’s? Well, Betty Frith was the Honorary Secretary of the Hartford branch of the RNLI and whilst at Bexhill-on-Sea on holiday, staying at a guest house, she had the brilliant idea over breakfast of washing out the little pots with jam in and getting people to fill them with 5p pieces.

She had been doing this for many years when the Durham branch of the RNLI heard of the idea and ran with it. They have so far raised £147,500: that is 2.4 million 5p coins which, if laid end to end, would stretch over 35 miles and weigh nearly eight tonnes.
St Thomas headteacher, Carole Gardiner, commented,

“Following an interesting assembly by Kt and Martin Bruce about the RNLI and the introduction of the 5p challenge the children were very keen to support our local team.

As a school community we regard the RNLI as a vitally important part of our community and as so many of our families live in Winchelsea Beach, they see for themselves the amazing work the RNLI do.

We were also delighted to be involved in the pebble-painting for the Rye Harbour Mary Standford Memorial.”

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.

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