Landlord Tom to open Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week
Pub landlord Tom Littledyke is taking time off from leading convoys of aid to Ukraine to support another charity saving lives as he opens this year’s Lifeboat Week in Lyme Regis.
Tom will be interviewed by former BBC TV reporter Chris Coneybeer as part of the opening ceremony at 1.30pm on 23 July outside the lifeboat station.
Tom, 31, runs the Shave Cross Cellar bar and Antonio’s Italian taverna in Lyme Regis, and is also landlord of the Shave Cross Inn, a country pub near Bridport. He is also a boat owner, and was delighted to be asked to take part in Lifeboat Week.
‘I am a great admirer of the work the volunteers of the RNLI do and the amazing amounts donated since the 1970s during the very successful lifeboat weeks held in Lyme Regis’ said Tom. ‘I am looking forward to my involvement this year.’
Since the war began, Tom has twice driven the 1,300 miles to Ukraine in a mini bus loaded with humanitarian aid at the head of a convoy of volunteers. His partner, Georgia Wellman, 21, plays a vital administrative role overseeing donations and organising the convoys. He and Georgia have now helped to organise at least seven convoys, and there are plans to buy a ‘safe house’ on the borders of Poland and Ukraine for refugees using some of the generous donations that have been made to Tom’s fundraising site.
Tom, a former Royal Marine Reservist, who went to the Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis, speaks of his terrifying and heartbreaking experiences and says he is proud of the response of people in his home town to his appeals for aid. ‘The town really came together, and the generosity of the people of Lyme and district has been fantastic,’ said Tom.
Donations to the convoys included huge supplies of non-lethal military equipment, radios, armour, warm clothing, blankets and medical items.
Apart from the donations of materials, a highly successful online appeal led by Tom and Georgia raised well over £25,000 to provide further supplies and aid. In recent months Tom and his team have also received donations of vehicles including an ambulance, a 7.5 ton lorry and another mini bus.
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.