The Civil Service charity The Lifeboat Fund has pledged to raise £1.1million of the £2million needed to pay for a new Shannon class lifeboat for Wells RNLI in its 150th anniversary appeal.
The Lifeboat Fund is the longest-standing supporter of the RNLI having been founded in 1866. Its magnificent record has, over the years, raised around £5 million for the institution, helped to put 52 lifeboats on station around the coast and saved thousands of lives. The charity, which also receives considerable support from employees of the Royal Mail and British Telecom, has funded a number of inshore lifeboats in recent years as well as provided £400,000 for the new Lifeboat Pier for Tower RNLI in London and funded the Hunstanton Flyer hovercraft stationed at Hunstanton.
The new Shannon to be stationed at Wells-next-the-Sea will be the 53rd lifeboat the charity has funded and the first all-weather lifeboat it has supported since 1999. The boat will carry the name Civil Service No 53.
Volunteers from Wells lifeboat station met with representatives from the Lifeboat Fund, the MOD and the RNLI at an event in Whitehall on 9 April to mark the start of the fundraising campaign. The Lifeboat Fund chairman Sir Peter Housden KCB said "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 station's own appeal, to raise £250,000 towards the new boat's cost by the end of 2015, continues alongside, £167,000 has been raised so far and many exciting events already planned, including a sky dive in May, the Norfolk Superhero Challenge quadrathlon in June, a series of cycle sportives. Do please join in and support us and the Lifeboat Fund to help bring a Shannon-class lifeboat to Norfolk's coast.
Photograph (l-r) back row: Paul Boissier (RNLI Chief Executive), Conrad Bailey (Trustee, The Lifeboat Fund), Allen Frary (Coxswain Wells), Chris Hardy (LOM Wells) and the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC ADC DL. Front row: Nathan Hart (crew Wells), Graham Hill (crew Chiswick) and Kevin Parr (crew Wells)