MOD gets ‘on board’ the Anniversary Appeal
In the wake of the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund’s launch of its 150th Anniversary Appeal, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, launched a fundraising campaign in MOD Main Building for the charity. Admiral Sir George has also honoured The Lifeboat Fund by becoming its Vice Patron and intends to get right behind the Appeal.
The Fund has pledged to raise £1.1m towards the cost of a new Shannon class state-of-the-art lifeboat for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) lifeboat station at Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk.
The event was attended by representatives from the MOD, RNLI and The Lifeboat Fund as well as employees interested in supporting the fundraising efforts of The Lifeboat Fund. Members of the RNLI Wells team were also on-hand to talk through their roles and experiences with the group, demonstrate some of the life-saving equipment, and explain how the new class of lifeboat is vital in ensuring that they can continue to provide an on-call, 24 hour lifeboat search and rescue service.
Having donated more than £5 million since it was founded in 1866, The Lifeboat Fund is now the longest-standing supporter of the RNLI and one of its biggest contributors. The 150th anniversary appeal will be a Civil Service-wide effort with all sorts of fundraising events taking place throughout the UK. All supporters of the charity, including British Telecom and Royal Mail, are encouraged to take part. Admiral Zambellas said:
“As an island nation, the RNLI enjoys huge public support. It remains one of the great institutions of our country because it has such a large volunteer element, which enables it to cover more than 25,000 miles of coastline.
“Those of you who work and live in London might feel disconnected from the sea or the RNLI, but Tower Station on the River Thames is one of the busiest stations with over 500 rescues last year.
“This appeal narrows our focus from the breadth of the RNLI’s activities right down to Wells-next-the-Sea. We need to raise over £1.1 million to replace their existing lifeboat with a new Shannon-class vessel. We are extremely proud of what the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund has achieved over the past 150 years. This is now an opportunity for all of us to show what we can do.”
The Lifeboat Fund will continue a proud tradition of supporting the RNLI by fundraising throughout the UK for a new Shannon class lifeboat over the three years 2015 to 2017. The charity aims to secure the naming rights to the new lifeboat, enabling the vessel to go into service in the summer of 2017 at RNLI Wells-next-the-Sea lifeboat station.
Paul Boissier, Chief Executive of the RNLI, added:
“This will become the 53rd lifeboat that The Lifeboat Fund has helped the RNLI bring into service – the original cost just £300 almost 150 years ago. Time and technology have moved on since then, but what has not changed is the dedication of supporters such as The Lifeboat Fund whose efforts enable our volunteer crews to save lives at sea.
“The Lifeboat Fund is an extraordinary force for good in this country, with a long and magnificent record of support for our volunteer lifeboat crews. Its commitment to raise £1.1 million for a new lifeboat at Wells is an incredibly tough challenge, which I am confident they will achieve. On behalf of everyone at the RNLI I would like to thank The Lifeboat Fund for its significant support.”
The Shannon class lifeboat is at the cutting edge of lifesaving technology. With a top speed of 25 knots, the Shannon is powered by water jets rather than propellers, offering unparalleled agility and manoeuvrability. Characteristics of raw speed and the ability to work effectively in shallow water and in confined spaces give the RNLI’s volunteer crews an even better chance of saving someone when their life is on the line.
The Lifeboat Fund is delighted to have this fantastic support from the MOD. Other supporter bodies holding launch events for their appeals are encouraged to get in touch so their events can be featured on this website and their fundraising supported.
Photos (credit: MOD) main picture: MOD’s appeal launch, including (back – left to right) RNLI Chief Executive, Paul Boissier; Lifeboat Fund Trustee Conrad Bailey; RNLI Wells Coxswain Allen Frary; RNLI Wells Operations Manager Chris Hardy; and First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas.
Second picture: Admral Zambellas speaking at the launch - who has just come forward to be this charity’s Vice Patron.