PLIRB is Now Static Trader’s Chosen Charity

As our supporters know, the pandemic has had a serious impact on our ability to fundraise to meet our running costs. But we have some exciting news! Rye Harbour-based company, Static Trader has chosen us as their charity to support for the next 12 months. What’s more, they have made a donation which will help out with both costs and fundraising!


Byron Whiteside, General Manager of local company Static Trader is no stranger to some of the volunteers here at the PLIRB – two of our team work at Static Trader! After chatting to these volunteers, Byron realised how the pandemic has affected our charity. In particular, as a businessman, Byron recognised that there’s a real problem when there are costs to pay but very little income since our major fundraisers in 2020 were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

Byron was keen to help, not only by choosing our rescue boat as Static Trader’s local charity to support, but also by taking care of one of our costs for us .. with a sponsorship donation of £1,000.

This very welcome donation is to fund the costs of printing our promotional merchandise, informational materials and posters. It will also help towards administrative printing costs.

“Giving my time is something I would have preferred to do, and something I’d love to do with Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat – I recognise how valuable their work is through my colleagues who volunteer with the boat. But although I can’t give my time in the same way they do, what I can do is give a donation and a helping hand to the charity.”

A donation, and then some …

This support is extremely timely for us, coming just in time to allow us to be able to have some charity greetings cards printed up. These have proved a popular fundraiser in the past. At the time of the discussions, the Ocean Ceramics Mad Hatter’s event was just around the corner as the only fundraiser event on our behalf all year! Thanks to the Static Trader donation and a quick printing turnaround, we were able to provide friend of the PLIRB Marian Mason with some of our cards to sell on the day. And sell she did, you can read all about that here!

Because it’s in this way, that Byron’s donation does more for us than ‘just’ help meet costs. Without this donation, we certainly wouldn’t have been able to create merchandise to sell over the coming months and into 2021, which would have been yet another fundraising source lost to us.

What’s more, having the cost of printing covered by the donation means that every penny one of our items is sold for comes straight back to us as funds raised. In turn, this will help us meet other running costs. Something our Treasurer, Stella Dunn is delighted about:

The treasurer’s role in a charity is always a fine balancing act – we need to raise funds continually and promote our services but often the cost is prohibitive. The sponsorship of our promotional fundraising goods by Static Trader is most welcome and generous, especially in this most challenging year when other avenues and opportunities have been so limited.”

Whilst it hasn’t yet been possible for Byron to come down to the boathouse for a formal thank you, a visit soon is on the cards (see what we did there?). In the meantime, Static Trader customers will have access to the donation pot which is now in the business’s sales office and PLIRB supporters will be able to look out for our brand new items for sale.

Sincere thanks to Byron Whiteside and Static Trader, from everyone at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat

Whilst you’re here …

As an independent charity providing rescue services, we are run solely by volunteers. We receive no government or central funding, so we have to fundraise every penny needed to buy and maintain our equipment.

We also fundraise to pay our considerable running costs. Since the start of 2020, these have increased 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.

Anything you can spare will help us to help those in danger on our local coastline.

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

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.

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.

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.