Celia Imrie, much-loved actress and star of stage and screen, has officially launched a £1M public appeal for funds to create a new lifeboat station in Cowes.
The leading British actress, well known for her work Nanny McPhee, Acorn Antiques and Dinnerladies, with Victoria Wood, is the patron of the appeal, which will lead to a greatly improved lifeboat station serving the Solent.
Celia was escorted by lifeboat from the current station in Shepards Wharf marina to the new building – the old Custom House. She told an audience of RNLI supporters, fundraisers and guests that she was delighted to be the patron the Cowes Lifeboat Station Appeal.
Celia immediately charmed the waiting crowd when she said: ’I'm absolutely thrilled to be here today, and wearing this crew kit. Obviously they don’t have many people with chests because this is mighty tight!’
She went on to say: ‘The current station is a changing room, an office, a classroom, so they need this new station. All the crew are total volunteers, and it is absolutely wonderful to think they are going to have a new station nearer the Solent. Those vital four minutes when they have to answer a call immediately are going to make them even faster to launch.
‘To get people to do things and give up their time for nothing, and risk their own lives, is wonderful and I am so proud to be involved with the crew today. I am so in admiration and am very proud to be the patron of this appeal.’
The RNLI charity will refurbish the old Custom House building, near the mouth of the River Medina, to create a new, improved lifeboat station. This location will reduce the lifeboat launching time by 4 minutes, allowing the crew to reach casualties more quickly, which in turn could prove crucial in saving lives out at sea.
For more information or top donate to the RNLI Cowes Lifeboat Station Appeal, visit www.rnli.org.uk/cowesappeal