The RNLI is a charity devoted to saving lives at sea. It is entirely funded by donations from the public. These donations are as a result of the work of its volunteer fundraisers.
The crew of the lifeboats, all volunteers themselves; rely on a small army of other volunteers who collect the funds needed to keep the service going. The RNLI does not receive any government funding so every lifeboat and lifeboat station, with their running costs, depends on public donations.
In Weston the fund raising team, led by Peter Elmont is one of the most successful in the UK. Three of its number were recently recognised by the RNLI for the work they do. At a presentation ceremony at the Lifeboat College in Poole they received the following awards.
Ashleigh Holtby was an outstanding crew member in previous years. He was so well recognised that he was the subject of an RNLI advertisement. When he had to give up being crew he joined the fundraising team and is always on hand to help. He works in the souvenir shop and helps at events. Ash is always cheerful and a valued member of the Weston team. He received a Certificate of Thanks
Judy Massa, a full time working nurse, has been a great supporter of the fundraising team. She is vibrant and reliable and happy to give a hand at events. She was awarded the Certificate of Thanks.
Don Sutherland has been the Lifeboat Management Group chairman for nearly 7 years. This is the overall committee which coordinates activities of both the lifeboat station crew and the fundraisers. As well as this vital role he is most supportive of all fundraising efforts, attends meetings and events. The fundraising team are appreciative of his active support and interest. His hands-on approach in the preparation and launch of the fundraising appeal has been most valuable. He has built the relationship between crew and fundraising team and this is what makes it such a successful team in Weston.
He was instrumental in organising a very successful visit by HRH the Duke of Kent to Weston RNLI Lifeboat earlier in the year. He received the Bronze Badge.
Peter Elmont, Weston-super-Mare RNLI Fundraising Chairman said; ‘Having such dedicated helpers make fund raising so much easier. They all give as much as they can. While we have such an important appeal under way for a new boathouse they will help us achieve our target.’