Launching The PLIRB Charity Lottery Campaign

As many of our friends and supporters know, recent events mean we’ve had to expand our horizons when it comes to fundraising. And the exciting news is that we’re now onboard for online fundraising with The Weather Lottery.

Why an online charity lottery?

As is the case for many other UK charities, the CV-19 pandemic has seriously affected fundraising 2020. As an independent rescue charity receiving no government funding, this has had a major impact. At the very least each year, we have to maintain a level of fundraising to meet our running costs, which are around £8,000 a year and rising.

So, how could we help fix 2020’s fundraising fail?

Expand our horizons and move into the unchartered waters of online fundraising!

And how could we put a bit of FUN into online fundraising?

By joining the Weather Lottery!

The fun twist on this is that the weather is usually the thing that impacts on our fundraising when it comes to fetes and Open day! As stalwarts who supported us during the absolute downpour on 2018 ‘s Open Day know well)! In the case of the Weather Lottery, the weather is going to be nothing but helpful for us!

“Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat are one of our most recent societies to start their lottery fundraising journey. We are extremely excited to work with Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.”

                                                                                                                                    Weather Lottery Team.

How to join in

For just £1 a week, our friends and supporters could win £25,000 in each weekly draw. As this is a charity lottery, all profits raised will come to Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat and will be vital in helping us to save lives at sea.

  • If you’d like to get involved, it’s very simple. The dedicated Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat page at the Weather Lottery can be found here.
  • If you’d prefer to look at the Weather Lottery to see what’s involved and how it works first, you can also visit the Weather Lottery’s How It Works page.
  • If anyone prefers a leaflet, these have just arrived (photo below). These will be placed in our leaflet box outside the boathouse for collection from 4th July 2020 – our official lottery launch date. If friends and supporters would like to help us with this campaign by sharing our leaflets at work, please contact us and we’ll get some dropped off to you (in a socially-distanced way, of course)!

Like what we do? Please support this campaign in whichever way you can

The service we provide, along this beautiful but hazardous stretch of the UK coastline, makes a difference to people on local beaches and in the water. It also supports the work of other rescue and emergency services who we work with regularly. These include local HM Coastguard teams, HM Search & Rescue based at Lydd, plus RNLI services at Hastings, Rye and Dungeness. We also work with Sussex Police and Border Force, and are recognised by these services for the role our volunteers fulfil along this part of the coastline.

Every penny raised from the Weather Lottery will help keep us afloat and saving lives, and we’d love your support in this. Here’s our page link again (yes, we’re a bit excited about this)!

Any support you can offer for our charity lottery campaign would certainly give a much-needed boost to our funds. And here’s the big plus, if you sign up to play in support of us, you also stand the chance of winning that £25,000 weekly prize! 

We realise that not everyone wants to participate in lotteries and of course we totally respect that. However, if you can’t participate yourself but would like to help us out that would be amazing. Sharing this blog post and our social media updates or passing on a few leaflets to friends who might like to join in would all be appreciated by us.

Looking forward to sharing more on this later but in the meantime, a big thank you from all of us at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.

CV19 Update – All Events Cancelled

Despite the gentle easing of lockdown and the slow return to a different kind of ‘normal’, CV19 continues to have an impact. 

Certainly the impact on public health and safety has been major and the ripple effect of the lockdown has been wide. From our own perspective, this ripple effect has had a significant impact on our ability to prepare for our planned events. So, the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat committee is sad to share that we’ve had to officially cancel our forthcoming events.

As many will know, our Open Day planned for May 2020 was postponed early into the lockdown. However, we remained hopeful of maybe holding the event later in the year. Similarly, we’d been planning a series of events and activities, including a major celebration, to mark this year’s 50th Anniversary of our rescue service. Clearly, with the ongoing CV19 situation, we need to confirm that these events have now been fully cancelled in 2020, rather than postponed.

This decision has been taken after careful consideration of the impact of CV19 on public health and safety, as well as on our ability to plan and deliver events.

Safety and protection – on the coast and in the community

The safety of the public and of course our volunteers is of course particularly important to us. After all, we’re here to serve and protect local coastal communities and visitors alike – it’s what we do. So we’ve been very mindful of the guidance and advice in respect of gatherings.

Additionally, because coronavirus and the outcome of the pandemic on UK as a whole is still revealing itself, it feels far too soon to be able to predict future risks. It’s with this in mind that we’ve had no option but to cancel our events and community fundraising calendar for this year.

In terms of our operational activities, we remain available 24/7 for rescue when tasked. With the latest round of lockdown loosening, our volunteers are looking forward to being able to return in limited numbers at the boathouse for our Sunday sessions.  From there, it may be possible to start planning for smaller activities once the summer moves on. However, all of those bigger events will move to 2021. But don’t worry, we’ll certainly be looking to make the most of the extra planning time so that we can share these special moments with our volunteers, friends and supporters.

In the meantime, thank you for your continued support and please keep in touch with us through our online methods … we do have a special announcement coming up for July! 

Whilst you’re here …

As a charity, everyone who’s involved in our independent rescue service is a volunteer. Our team constantly fundraise to cover all of our running costs, but CV19 has had a major impact on our ability to fundraise in the community.

If you like the work we do and would like to support us, please consider a donation. Even the smallest donation helps and could make a real difference to those in danger on our local coastline.

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

Support Our Charity with a Movement for Good Nomination?

At Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, we’re well recognised for our work in helping and protecting our coastline communities. 

But just for a change, throughout May, we’re asking for a bit of help from the community instead, with charity nomination or two, if possible …

How to help us with charity nominations

Now we’re well into May, the national Movement for Good awards are open. In this donation scheme, run by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical, charity nominations are gathered for a draw, with each charity having the chance to win £1,000.

Because we’re a registered UK charity, we’re eligible to be in the draw … and the more nominations our charity receives, the greater our chances of being selected to win one of the £1,000 awards.

It’s quick and easy to nominate Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat online, using our charity number 286891. Nominations are already open and can be placed online at Votes can be made until Sunday 24 May 2020, with the random draw taking place in early June.

Please support our Communications Upgrade project …

As our friends know, although we’ve remained rescue-ready throughout the current pandemic lockdown, our usual fundraising activities have somewhat stalled. This means our hopes of raising enough cash to complete our Communications Upgrade Project look rather doubtful.

We’ve been hoping to raise the £6k we need to upgrade our base and boat communications system to an innovative hands-free, bluetooth system. We’ve got the option on buying a system from a company which specialises in communications designed for heavy duty use in extreme environments – exactly what’s needed for a rescue service along this particular stretch of the coast! 

So, with the Movement for Good draw taking place in June, the chance of winning £1,000 in the near future would certainly help – not just us, but many charities, as Mark Hews, Group CEO of Ecclesiastical, recognises:

We’re delighted to announce the launch of Ecclesiastical’s Movement for Good awards for the second year running. The coronavirus is having a major impact on charities and many are facing financial difficulties. Our Movement for Good awards will continue to help charities at a time when they need it most and we know that for many charities, £1,000 can make a real difference.”

Looking ahead

Thanks to the combination of the latest adjustments to the lockdown rules relating to exercising, open spaces and meeting up with a friend outdoors, the beaches are already becoming increasingly busy. In response, we still hope to maximise our service by raising enough money to get the new system installed this year.

Over the last week, more and more people have been visiting local beaches at Pett, Winchelsea Beach and Camber and this will only increase as the summer progresses and lockdown lifts. After all the nation has been going through, here at the PLIRB we really feel it’s important to be ready to support safety along the coastline, as Fiona, Chair of the PLIRB Committee, shares:

“Whether you walk or play on the beach with your family and friends or enjoy any watersport, we are on call 24/7 should you get into difficulties. We are there to help you feel safe and enjoy the benefits of the beautiful waters and coastline of this iconic part of East Sussex.”

So, if you like what we do and are able to support us with a charity nomination over at Movement for Good (using our charity number 286891) we would really appreciate it. To be honest, it would make such a difference to us at this current time. If you’d also like to share this blog post and publicise this opportunity using social media, that would also be grand!

We look forward to updating you all next month with any positive outcomes and of course we also look forward to seeing everyone properly again soon too! In the meantime, please stay safe and well.

Community Volunteering During Covid-19

At Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, our volunteers maintain an on-call service 24/7, ready to respond when tasked to issues along the coastline. 

And although we haven’t been able to gather together as a group to carry out our other activities, such as fundraising, committee and trustee work, community support has remained close to our hearts …

Community volunteering during lockdown

So several of our volunteers have been quietly – and individually – supporting other community causes over the last three months.

Take Kev (photo above), our Launch Vehicle volunteer, who explains his motivation for community volunteering and the groups he’s been helping:

“I spent most of my working life in crown service, army and Prison Service, so when this virus hit our shores I felt that I needed to contribute in some way other than supporting my wife who is an A&E Sister. I first signed up to NHS Responders for buddy chats and medicine delivery but, as I only had one call to volunteer, I decided to look for other ways to contribute.

So I also joined Team Rubicon UK, a veteran-based international volunteer service. They’d just started Op-React in response to the pandemic. However, most jobs aren’t in my area so I found a volunteer motorcycle group, Volunteer Riders UK. This group transports vital PPE around the country by bike, quite often via complicated relays from one end of the UK to the other. I’ve now completed my first job collecting and delivering scrubs from one volunteer to another in Kent.”

Other PLIRB volunteers are also carrying out roles in the community.

Three of our volunteers joined the local arms of the Rye Mutual Aid group, delivering medication and shopping to local residents in Pett, Winchelsea and Winchelsea Beach. This support has been ongoing since the early weeks of the crisis and continues, as John’s photo shows!

Two of our team members also volunteer with the NHS Volunteer Responders and GoodSam, delivering medication in Fairlight and other local communities.

Another of our team has also responded to the call for additional workers in retail, and is now working temporarily as a delivery driver for a well-known supermarket.

Looking out and looking ahead

So, whilst you’re not seeing our familiar faces down at the boathouse, please be assured we’re very much around and looking out for our communities. And of courrse, we’re also looking ahead to when we’ll be able to resume our own full services in the local area.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in any of the groups we’ve mentioned, please see below:

  • If you would like to receive help or volunteer for Rye Mutual Aid, you can visit the Rye Mutual Aid website or contact them direct on Facebook.
  • If you’re a veteran and would like to be involved with Re:Act, there’s plenty of information on the Team Rubicon website.
  • Similarly, if you have a motorbike and want to get involved, check out the Volunteer Riders UK group on Facebook.

Finally, if you are a local resident and need some help, Rye News recently published a useful Services Offered page, with links to various community groups and services. Rye News also has a separate page with more information and contact numbers for all the groups (including Pett) which are part of Rye Mutual Aid. 

Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat – Covid-19 (CoronaVirus) Update

In light of recent developments around CoronaVirus (Covid-19), we want to keep you informed of the steps we’re taking to protect our community and our team, whilst remaining rescue-ready, as needed.

We are closely monitoring government’s CoronaVirus guidelines and advice and, in order to act accordingly, we have taken the following steps in respect of our upcoming events and activities:


  • Our AGM, originally scheduled for 19th April 2020 is now postponed until further notice. As soon as the government advises that a gathering of this type is safe to hold, we will announce a new date.
  • Our Open Day, scheduled for 24th May 2020 is also postponed. At the moment, we are hoping we can reschedule the event to combine with the proposed date for our 50th Anniversary celebrations – 12th September 2020 – providing it is safe to do so. Again, we will act in accordance with government and health authority guidance, nearer the time and if necessary, will reschedule again.
  • With regards to our fundraising activities and presence at local community events, we are following advice and respecting the need to cancel these for the foreseeable future. In all cases, we are acting in our community’s interests, as stipulated by the government.
Operational services during the CoronaVirus crisis

For our operational rescue services, the plan is as follows:

  • As a trained rescue service, we remain ready to support our community and will still launch as required to help those in difficulty on the water or coastline. Any of our volunteers who are actively in quarantine will not be involved in any rescues.
  • Our Sunday presence at the boathouse will be maintained at a ‘back to essentials’ level. This will involve a rota of a maximum of 3 volunteers at any time, keeping to advice about reasonable separation as much as possible, and wearing gloves throughout their time at the boathouse. Activities on Sundays will be restricted to the essentials to ensure that we can maintain service, as checking the vehicles and maintaining equipment is essential for keeping us rescue-ready to serve the community.
  • Although we usually welcome visitors during our Sunday sessions, we are sad to say that the boathouse will be closed to visitors, even if it may appear to be ‘open’ whilst our smaller teams are there for equipment checks. We appreciate your understanding over this.
  • In all operations, including any ‘shouts’ over this extreme period, our teams will be supporting all efforts to minimise potential infection in our communities. This includes regular sanitising of our base, boathouse and equipment. We are also following advice around hand washing and hygiene in accordance with Public Health guidelines.

We appreciate the challenging situation that everyone is finding themselves in. Please be assured that although Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat volunteers may not have our usual visible presence in the community, we’re still working hard behind the scenes to keep our service ready for action as needed.

In the meantime, we will be guided by government announcements in any future actions, and do our best to maintain the health and safety of our members and of the communities we serve.

In terms of sources of reliable information at this difficult time, we recommend the Government’s dedicated CoronaVirus pages at This also has a link to the official NHS website. 

Please monitor our social media and website for further announcements and updates as necessary. You can also use these to contact us: Twitter: @PLIRBRescue or Facebook: @PettLevelRescueBoat

Support from the Community – Unexpected Charity Donations

Now, although we value all support and charity donations we receive equally, there are times when support comes along very unexpectedly and in a way that just blows us away. So this blog post is dedicated to Anonymous Antony …

In the past week, we received the anonymous donation of a bag of pennies and the note (pictured) above.

We’ve got to be honest, there’s real joy in receiving a lovely surprise like this. After all:

  • This wonderful 7 year old has gone out of his way to save his pennies – £1.20 worth – with giving in mind.
  • With all of the coverage given to other national charity fundraising campaigns, we’re touched that Antony and his family have recognised that an independent rescue charity such as ours relies solely on its own fundraising. And Antony has responded to this by saving up specifically for Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.
  • Look at that message! Antony’s not just thinking of us and what we need to do in order to be able to help others, he’s also recognising that others need the help we provide. That’s thoughtful on so many levels.
  • And of course, our volunteers don’t do what they do in order to receive accolades and appreciation, we provide our services because they’re a necessary part of keeping this coastline safe. But how lovely to receive that special thank you message too!

So, it’s safe to say that we were blown away to receive this donation and its accompanying note last week. And, no pressure, but if Antony or his family would like to get in touch so that we could say a personal thank you, we’d be delighted.

As ever, everyone at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat is grateful for all charity donations. We really couldn’t do without additional funds as these not only help towards our running costs but also enable us to replace and update our equipment as needed. Thanks so much to everyone, and especially Antony.