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 gov.uk/coronavirus. 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.

Support from the Community – Robin Hood Bonfire Society, Icklesham

Last week we received the kind invitation to visit the Robin Hood pub in Icklesham, to receive a charity donation. The event was the combination of a charity presentation and quiz night and, although we were a little short of quizzers, we were very pleased to be invited and to be offered a charity donation of funds raised by the hard working Robin Hood Bonfire Society.

Receiving the cheque, PLIRB volunteers John Brooker, Kev Nuttall, Shaun O’Hara and Nigel Carter.

All the events held by the Robin Hood Bonfire Society raise funds for local charities, and we were delighted to receive a cheque for £350 to support the work of Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat. We have considerable running costs as well as plenty of fundraising projects for new equipment, training and to support our community activities, so this kind of donation makes a real difference to what we can afford to do.

After the presentations, the evening then moved onto refreshments and the quiz. As usual, our team was enthusiastic and had a great deal of fun but of course were well beaten by local quiz teams! Note to selves: get into training for this quiz in the future!

We sincerely appreciate all of the hard work the Robin Hood Bonfire Society do to support local charities such as ours and for the local community as a whole. Looking forward to 2020’s display – we’re sure it’ll go with a bang, so don’t forget to follow the Robin Hood Bonfire Society Facebook page so you can be aware of the date as soon as it’s announced.

Thank you so much to the Robin Hood Bonfire Society, for the charity donation and also for inviting us to their fun evening, it’s great spending time with you!

 

 

Support from the Community – Thanks to Corbeau Seats UK

It’s been a busy start to February, and we’re very pleased to share some fabulous support from our local community.

When it comes to gifts that support a charity such as ours, sometimes it’s not all about money. This week, we’ve been particularly grateful to receive a very special kind of donation.

Pictured from left to right: Kathryn Allum, Vehicle Volunteer Kev (who is mostly in the driving seat and will be glad to do it in comfort) and Helm Shaun O’Hara.

Our visitor was Kathryn Allum, from Corbeau Seats UK, who came to see us with the gift of a fabulous RS1 vehicle seat. As our friends and followers know, with our ongoing quest to refit our ‘new to us’ Reserve Launch and Recovery Vehicle is at a crucial stage in terms of funds and affordability. With this in mind, Kathryn has stepped in with the donation of the brand new, high specification RS1 vehicle seat, so that our launch and recovery crew will be able to sit in comfort and safety on the new vehicle when it’s finally finished.

The gift of a gift

Every donation to us is welcome, and we’d like our supporters to know that help is always appreciated. Whilst financial donations certainly help to keep us going and reduce the amount of costs we have to fund ourselves to keep going, it’s also great to know that some companies think carefully about ways to donate gifts that support a charity such as Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.

With several vehicles to keep maintained, as well as our two rescue boats, we invariably have a long shopping lists. These invariably include essentials needed for maintenance and items that need replacing or upgrading. We also have a cheeky wish-list (or two) of ‘the latest’ items which would be welcome additions to our existing equipment.

Receiving a brand new item which means we can tick the cost off our budget is a great help to us. When it comes to our very costly vehicles, we’re certainly very grateful to Kathryn and Corbeau Seats UK for their support with this.

We’re also especially grateful to Kathryn for braving Storm Ciara to come and present us with the seat. Hopefully in the summer, we’ll be able to invite Kathryn back in much better weather, to enjoy the moment when the seat is in action for the first time. Thanks Kathryn and Corbeau Seats UK.

Support From The Community and Fairlight Stores

Graeme and Leonie Gambrell of Fairlight Stores are always ready to support our charity and, thanks to them, 2020 has kicked off with another donation.

As we’ve shared previously, Graeme and Leonie are regular supporters of Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat as an independent rescue charity. Fairlight Stores hosts one of our donation bottles and encourage customers of the store to donate their small change. This time around, Graeme and Leonie and their customers have managed to raise over £100 for us!

 

 

 

Members of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat committee, Treasurer Stella Dunn and committee member David Martin, visited Graeme and Leonie recently to present a certificate and a PLIRB calendar as a thank you to this great couple who always remember us as one of their local community causes.

And of course, whilst Graeme and Leonie look after the donations, it’s those members of the Fairlight community and customers of the Fairlight Stores who contribute many of the donations. It’s proof indeed that small change can be a big way to support our charity and we very much appreciate the Fairlight community supporting us.

Thank you all very much.

 

 

 

Support from the Community – Rother Police Property Fund

We value all charity support received from local community services and businesses, and on Sunday 2nd February 2020, we were delighted to have another visit from local Rother Police Community Support Officer Daryl Holter.

 

 

This isn’t the first time Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat has received charity support from the local Sussex Police, through the Police Property Fund. In 2019, we received funds to help us buy hardware including helmet cameras, so that we can record our activities and create training videos for our crews, plus a laptop, projector and portable screen, vital hardware for our sea safety and awareness presentations in the community.

On this occasion, PCSO Holter presented us with a cheque for £90 which will be going towards our Reserve Launch and Recovery Vehicle fund. We still have a shortfall of several thousand pounds, which is needed to help complete the repairs and reconfiguration needed before the vehicle can be finished and ready to use.

The Police Property Fund is made up of monies the police receive when items that have been confiscated by order of courts and are then sold on. All monies in the Police Property Fund are then passed on to community causes and charities. As such, PCSO Holter is our community link for the fund, and shared: “I am delighted to have been able to help the Pett Level boat, based between Hastings and Rye. Its rescue work is crucial and supporting these lifesavers is the least we can do”.

As ever, everyone at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat is grateful for this type of charity support. We really couldn’t do without it, as it not only helps towards our running costs but also enables us to replace and update our equipment as needed. Thanks so much to Sussex Police. 

PCSO Holter is shown in the photo, along with crew members Ethan and Martin (at either end of the group) PLIRB Chair, Fiona Johnson and Trustee John Pulfer.