Fundraisers aiming to raise money towards a new lifeboat station in Cowes have been given reason to smile with the news they’re more than a quarter of the way to their £1M appeal target.
Volunteer lifeboat crew members and fundraisers are all encouraged by the announcement that, so far, £305,534 has been raised for the Cowes Lifeboat Station Appeal.
The good news coincides with a fresh appeal for help from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, specifically aimed at engaging children and young people in schools and youth groups across the Isle of Wight. The charity’s Youth Engagement team are launching their ‘Million Pennies Appeal’ which asks schools to help raise funds towards the cost of the replacement lifeboat station.
The current Cowes lifeboat station is a small, temporary facility within Shepherds Wharf marina, but the RNLI plans to refurbish the old Custom House building, near the mouth of the River Medina. This location will bring the lifeboat four minutes closer to the sea, allowing the crew to reach casualties more quickly, which in turn could prove crucial in saving lives out at sea.
Nicola Sheldrake, RNLI Youth Engagement Manager, said: ‘The Cowes Lifeboat Station Appeal is geared towards raising £1M from the public towards the cost of the new station. In our experience, children and schools love getting involved with supporting charities, so giving them the target of a million pennies to aim for is a way for them to feel part of the appeal.
‘A million pennies – £10,000 – will be a massive boost to the appeal and will not only improve conditions for the volunteer crew members, but also enable them to reach casualties up to four minutes quicker than their current premises. It’s also achievable over the course of a school year, as evidenced by other appeals. So we’re appealing to schools across the Isle of Wight to help support the Cowes Lifeboat Station Appeal by raising this amount between them.’
The RNLI has already purchased the old Custom House building in Cowes but now needs to fully refurbish it to turn it into a replacement lifeboat station. As well as bringing the crew four minutes closer to the open sea, it will also provide more space for training the dedicated volunteer lifeboat crew.
Schools can raise funds in a huge variety of ways, for example dress down days, cake sales, collecting pennies at home, a talent show, concerts for parents, coffee evenings, a Christmas fair, and wearing your own clothes to school or even Wellington boots, like our volunteer lifeboat crews. Or any number of sponsored events, for example a sponsored swim, sponsored silence etc.
Nicola added: ‘We’d be delighted to support schools in any way we can – we can provide fundraising resources and materials and we also have education presenters who would love the opportunity to visit schools to talk to children about the RNLI and the Cowes appeal.’
Any schools wanting to find out how to get involved with the Million Pennies Appeal or to arrange an education presenter to visit their school should contact Nicola Sheldrake by calling 01202 336152 or email email@example.com