Skegness RNLI Ball raises over £20,000 in memory of former coxswain

Lifeboats News Release

A team of RNLI volunteers have organised a fundraising ball in memory of former coxswain Richard 'Watty' Watson to raise funds to create a lasting legacy at Skegness RNLI lifeboat station. The crew have worked closely with Richard's Wife Sandra to hold an event that would raise funds in his memory.

Skegness RNLI Crew pose with Sandra Watson for Crew photo

RNLI/Adam Holmes

The Skegness RNLI Ball was relaunched this year in order to pay tribute to and raise funds in memory of former Coxswain Richard Watson (Watty), who sadly died in 2020.

A team of five volunteer crew set about the task of organising the fundraising event last year, in order to support Watty's wife, Sandra’s fund raising efforts to create a lasting legacy to her husband at Skegness RNLI lifeboat station.

The successful event was attended by 200 supporters and friends of Skegness RNLI lifeboat station at the Suncastle venue in Skegness. Support for the Ball from local businesses and members of the wider local community was overwhelming with generous contributions and sponsorship from long term supporters and new friends helping to achieve such an amazing total on the night.

With a three course meal, Live Soul band and DJ the night was a huge hit with all the guests. Donated raffle prizes managed to raise over £2,500 and an auction held on the evening hitting a total of over £4,000, the generosity of those in attendance was simply incredible.

Adam Holmes, Ball committee member said: 'When Sandra came to us and asked us to organise one more ball to remember Watty, we were delighted to say yes and very excited to be able to organise such a nostalgic event in his name.

'We have been absolutely bowled over from the support we have seen from companies in the local community and wider area to come behind us and help us raise such an amazing total.

'Watty was a fellow crewman and friend to us all and we are so pleased that along with the support and help of the whole community we could deliver such a fabulous result for Sandra’s fundraising efforts.'

The grand total from the night was £21,253 which will be presented to the station on Sandra's behalf and will be added to the large sum that Sandra's other fundraising has already raised.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Adam Holmes, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer: [email protected]

Skegness RNLI Ball venue

RNLI/Adam Holmes

Skegness RNLI volunteer crew James Porter, Ellie May Barnfield and Carl Wheaton pose with stormy Stan.

RNLI/Adam Holmes

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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 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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