Your tribute stories
A marathon, a cross-channel swim, a burlesque show and a former RNLI Education Presenter – four very different ventures, but all undertaken by one person in memory of her father.
Chantal, who was awarded an RNLI Individual Supporter Award in 2013, has run the Edinburgh Marathon and two Great South Runs to raise funds for the RNLI. Her support of the charity was inherited from her father Bob Woollett, who sadly passed away in June 2007.
Chantal progressed to attempting a cross-channel swim – a gruelling and dangerous experience, which sadly ended only 7 miles from the French coast.
And, in a first for the RNLI, Chantal now performs around the country in a burlesque show in the guise of Bettie Wishes – a unique fundraising venture that has seen her and her friends performing their cheeky show in a number of pubs and clubs around the country.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Chantal also gave her time as a volunteer RNLI Education Presenter, passing on her passion for the RNLI to children and adults to help keep them safe on, in and around the water.
‘My dad was a great supporter of the RNLI,’ Chantal explains. ‘And wherever we went on holiday we would visit the lifeboat station and shop.
‘We had no direct links to the sea, living in London, but my dad knew the importance of the lifeboats and the courage of the volunteer crew members; he taught my sister and I to appreciate that.
‘When he died, I set up an RNLI Forever by the Sea Tribute Fund for him. The great thing about the tribute fund is that all my dad’s friends and family can give to it in whichever way suits them best; not all of them are as mad as me and want to run marathons!’
When her twin brother died, Gemma was devastated. But she found a positive way through her sadness, by setting up a Forever by the Sea Tribute Fund in Paul’s memory – which includes an annual Live On event with family and friends.
‘We chose to support the RNLI because Paul was an avid sailor,’ Gemma says. ‘He had even needed the RNLI a couple of times, when he decided to take a dilapidated old speedboat across to the Isle of Man. He managed to get there, but the engine went kaputt on his way back.
‘Paul loved DJing, so we raised money with a night of music for his family and friends to enjoy called Live On. Then the following year around 20 of Paul’s friends – including our dad – took the plunge with a charity skydive.