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150th Anniversary Appeal

Angela.Saunders
Tuesday 7 April 2015
Shannon class lifeboat during sea trials

The Lifeboat Fund is currently running it’s 150th Anniversary Appeal. The Appeal covers 2015 to 2017. The mid-year of 2016 marked 150 years since a group of civil servants first campaigned around government offices to buy a lifeboat for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.                                                                                                                                                                                               

The Fund continues to depend upon the generousity of its supporters.

The Appeal will cover 2015 to 2017.  The mid-year, 2016, marks 150 years since a group of civil servants first campaigned to buy a lifeboat for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, inviting subscriptions from their colleagues.

The lifeboat they bought, “Civil Service”, was the first of 52 lifeboats purchased by The Lifeboat Fund in the past 150 years.  Those lifeboats have saved more than 4,700 lives.

The charity’s big news now is: its Anniversary Appeal seeks to fundraise £1.1m towards the cost of a Shannon - the latest class of all-weather lifeboat, designed in-house by the RNLI and using cutting-edge technology to meet the demands of a 21 century rescue service.  The Shannon’s major assets are speed – at 25 knots, 50% faster than its predecessor – and manoeuvrability, thanks to a state-of-the-art propulsion system using waterjets. 

The Shannon will be stationed at Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk from 2017.  The crew at RNLI Wells are delighted at news of the vessel, in which they look forward to saving lives at sea for many years to come.  The RNLI plans to replace all its all-weather lifeboats with Shannon vessels, to achieve a 25-knot lifeboat fleet to reach those in need even faster.

Lifeboat Fund Chair, Sir Peter Housden KCB said, “I am delighted our charity has been offered the opportunity to fundraise for the Shannon and we are thrilled to grasp this challenge.  The Shannon is a remarkable vessel, taking life-saving at sea to new levels. 

“The Lifeboat Fund’s commitment to fundraise for such an incredible boat is the charity’s biggest and most important challenge to date.  I am grateful to my colleagues and all friends of the charity who will help deliver and support our 150th Anniversary Appeal.”

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s Chief Executive, Paul Boissier, said, “On behalf of the RNLI and its lifeboat crews I must record profound thanks to The Lifeboat Fund and its supporters.  Please know that your assistance over 150 years has made a substantial contribution to saving lives in peril and bringing our crews home safely.  Yours has been a fundraising effort of extraordinary proportions and your commitment to this historic appeal is exemplary.”

The 150th Anniversary Appeal promises to be a Civil Service-wide effort.  The Permanent Secretaries of the five largest Civil Service Departments[1] have all committed to supporting the Appeal as its Founding Partners. 

The Lifeboat Fund is also delighted that First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC ADC DL is lending his support as Vice Patron of the charity, with specific emphasis on promoting the Appeal.

All supporters of the charity are warmly encouraged to come on board and fundraise for this very special lifeboat!

This News Release was produced jointly by The Lifeboat Fund and the RNLI.
Please also download and use this Anniversary Appeal poster and Factsheet.  


[1] Lin Homer, HMRC; Robert Devereux, DWP; Jon Thompson, MOD; Ursula Brennan, MOJ; and Mark Sedwill, HO.