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Longhope RNLI Lifeboat Guild get together for an exciting year ahead

Lifeboats News Release

Longhope RNLI Lifeboat Guild recently met to discuss exciting plans for 2024.

Mary Harris

Longhope Lifeboat Guild (some members missing)

Being the 200th anniversary of the RNLI and 150th anniversary of Longhope RNLI Lifeboat Station this year, the guild are preparing for a very busy period ahead. During their latest meeting, the guild discussed fundraising ideas which included a beach clean, sponsored walk, special open day, and a dance.

There is also a possibility of screening the film ‘Launch! On the Sea with Scotland’s Lifeboats’. As the year progresses, the guild suspect the list of events will get even longer.

Longhope RNLI Lifeboat Guild was formed 64 years ago and today there are 26 members from all over Hoy and Walls, an island which has a fluctuating population of roughly 400. All those dedicated members from 1960 who are no longer with us, are the treasured foundations and heart of our guild and we salute you.

Today members of all ages and backgrounds seem so solid and united in their commitment to the guild. When the official business of the meeting was over, volunteer Mary Harris had a word with some of the members, which meant interrupting the various lively discussions and jovial banter. She was interested to know what motivated this group, why they give up their time and spend hours to raise funds and organise local events to assist the RNLI in its vital work of saving lives at sea.

Here are some of the responses:

Helena: ‘It’s a super group, I like raising funds and meeting people and I enjoyed working in the lifeboat shop. When I first moved here I received a very warm and friendly welcome. It really helped with settling in to the community life. ’

Fay (Vice Chair): ‘I’ve been a member for 26 years and to attend meetings and functions means a return trip of 34 miles. It can be treacherous in winter but the cause is very meaningful to me, I only support the lifeboat and Macmillan Cancer Research. Longhope lifeboat is an important part of our island life.’

Kathleen (Retired Chair): ‘I became Chair when my husband was Coxswain in 1994, I was Secretary before that and have been in the guild for over 40 years. The guild has gone from strength to strength; there were only eight members when I joined. The friendship is great and the dedication is down to the hard work of the office bearers.’

Morwen: I’m 18 and I’ve always lived here and gone to lifeboat events. My mum is in the guild and now I want to be part of it too.’

Teresa (Treasurer): ‘I’ve been treasurer for 10 years and the members are fab. The dedication of Trish, and Kathleen before, inspire me, as do the lifeboat crew who are fantastic. It’s a community, with a common purpose, one big family because of the lifeboat. ‘

Anna aged ten (who was attending with her mum Lee): ‘I’m too young to be a guild member but the lifeboat is important because they save people and are all volunteers’. Lee said she would have liked to have been a crew member but unfortunately she lives too far away.

Trish (Chair): ‘. I joined the guild to support our lifeboat crew and I’ve been chair for 14 years and it’s been fun from day one. The guild members are a great bunch of folk and their hard work and dedication is second to none.

Amidst a peal of laughter someone said: ‘I joined because Trish told me to.’

Bravo, thank you and hats off to the Longhope Lifeboat Guild.

Notes to editors

RNLI Media Contacts

Vicky Mackinnon, Lifeboat Press Officer, [email protected]

Jaye Mackay RNLI Media Engagement - Placement for Scotland, 07929 673286, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Communications Manager for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Communications Lead for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

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.