Community Support – Ocean Ceramics, Winchelsea Beach

It’s been a very bad year for everyone, but as things are now returning to the ‘new normal’ we’re very pleased to share that there’s a bit of good news on the fundraising front.

Friend of the PLIRB, Marian Mason at Ocean Ceramics is opening up her garden for one of the few charity events 2020 that it’s still possible to hold, her Mad Hatter’s Garden Party. 

Of course, any of the charity events 2020 still brings come with the social distancing twist, and the outdoor space of Marian’s lovely garden makes this possible.  The Mad Hatter’s Garden Party offers:

  • Access to Marian’s lovely studio, with Marian’s fabulous, original ceramics for sale
  • Fortune teller
  • Stalls
  • Refreshments
  • “Mad Hat” competition with prizes

Marian is kindly hosting some of the PLIRB greetings cards and calendars (yes, 2021 is around the corner already), as well as a donation pot for PLIRB. This is because Marian’s Mad Hatter event is a fundraiser for her two chosen charities – Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat and St. Michael’s Hospice.

So, if you’re looking to finally enjoy a bit of ‘out and about’ time over the August Bank Holiday weekend, please support Marian’s Garden Party and help to support two local charities at the same time.

For updates on this event:

All the volunteers at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat would like to say a huge thank you to Marian for fundraising for us at her special event, we really do appreciate it.

Community Support – Sean’s Charity Bike Ride 2020 for PLIRB

Getting back into the community after such a strange time is great, but what is even greater is that our community has our back.

As we’ve been sharing lately, local communities and businesses have been amazing in helping us, and the latest news on this is that Sean O’Sullivan, from local business SOS Entertainment, is planning his charity bike ride 2020 in support of Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat!

Staying rescue-ready throughout the lockdown took some doing, but it’s something we’re very happy to have been able to maintain. However, staying afloat financially whilst not being able to actively fundraise across the majority of the year is something we continue to have difficulty with. As a work colleague of two of our volunteers, Sean’s been quietly trying to think of ways to help.

His original idea, revealed on his own blog, was to take part in the London to Brighton charity bike ride 2020 and to gain sponsorship funds for PLIRB. Unfortunately, soon after signing up and organising a giving page for the event, the L2B event was cancelled.

But, with over £100 already raised – including a fabulous, anonymous £50 note – and a gruelling training schedule already underway, Sean’s decided to carry on in true ‘independent’ charity fashion!

Sean’s sticking with the original ride date of Sunday 13th September 2020 and has now organised his own route, out through Kent and back to the PLIRB boathouse at Pett Level. At just over 54 miles, this is just shy of the 55 miles of the L2B event, but is still going to be a tough way to raise vital funds for us.

“It’s an alternative route, but it’s close to the distance the L2B would cover, so it’s good news that the fundraising can still go ahead! Of course, the new route is pretty much totally flat, which is also good news for me!”

A poster will be ready shortly, but in the meantime, for updates on this event please check out the Event information on the PLIRB Facebook page.

And if you’d like to help, please share Sean’s #SOSpedalforPLIRB giving page.

All the volunteers at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat would like to say a huge thank you to Sean for going to these extreme (54+ mile) lengths to help us. We really do appreciate it and we look forward to greeting you at the boathouse when you complete your marathon charity bike ride 2020!

Community Support Our Charity with PPE – plus!

Time for an update! Recently, we had to ask our local community to support our charity and to help us return to the ‘new normal’ at the boat house.

As the relaxation of some restrictions mean a return to a more active community role, we’ve been faced with an extended challenge: the impact of lockdown and restrictions on group activities have had a real impact on our ability to fundraise. And at the same time, extra costs have arisen for the additional, necessary precautions and PPE which allow our volunteers to meet safely. These precautions also allow us to provide rescue and First Aid services in accordance with restrictions and distancing regulations.

So we launched an appeal on social media, asking for donations of PPE. And the response? Just amazing ! We’ve had individuals, community clubs, businesses – in fact, all kinds of people – offering help and vital items.


We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who responded so positively. This includes several anonymous individuals:

  • One of whom donated fabric.
  • Another helper (who’d like to remain anonymous) sewed this into 30 masks for us!
  • Another kind individual also donated some disposable gloves.

We’d also like to say a public thank you to Dawn Hyland, whose sewing group made some masks for us, using their own fabric stash.

PPE – plus a little extra help

There’s also a special thank you to Darren McCarthy and members of the Freemason Lodge of the White Rock No.7891. The Lodge donated 6 boxes of disposable masks, 6 boxes of disposable gloves and 10 litres of hand gel with dispensing pumps. They also added a donation of £100, to help the extra equipment and cleaning costs along!  

On a quick visit to the PLIRB boathouse on Sunday 9th August, Darren handed the PPE to our delighted volunteers. The cheque for £100 was gratefully received by PLIRB Treasurer, Stella Dunn (photo above).

Handing over the cheque, Darren told us: “It’s what we do, we try to help local causes. What I saw the post on Facebook, I knew we could do something.”

We’re extremely grateful to everyone in the community who went to such time and effort to support our charity in our PPE appeal.

It’s a great relief to share that we’re now confident that we have what we need to help maintain a Covid-secure presence when our volunteers, visitors and (potentially) casualties or members of the public are at the boathouse.

With all of our fundraising events in 2020 cancelled, the Freemasons’ donation of £100 is an additional, and very welcome surprise. It will be used to help us meet some of the immediate extra costs facing us as we continue to provide a 24/7 on-call rescue response on the local coastline.

A very sincere thank you to everyone who responded to this appeal.

Whilst you’re here …

As an independent rescue service, we are run by volunteers and fundraise to buy all of our own equipment and to pay our considerable running costs. Since the pandemic began, these costs have risen to over £10,000 a year.

If you like the work we do and would like to support us, your donation would really be appreciated and would, ultimately, help us to help those in danger on our local coastline.

Thank you so much, from the volunteers at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.