PLIRB Thanks Fairlight Parish and Rother Council

Everyone here at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat is pleased to say a huge thank you to our local councils – first Fairlight Parish Council and also the wider Rother council, for recent assistance at a difficult time.

To start with, after the difficulties presented by the new year lockdown which has had further impact on our charity’s ability to fundraise during the pandemic, our local parish council, Fairlight Parish Council made a very welcome donation of £250. This parish council grant could not have been more timely for our charity and will be extremely helpful as planned restrictions start to ease and there is more call upon our self-funded rescue services – huge thanks to all involved in this grant.

Then, our volunteer had a welcome surprise when, in April and after almost a year of trying, our charity secured a Rother Discretionary Grant payment of just under £5,000.

But it was no surprise that Fairlight resident and Rother councillor Andrew Mier, who has been aware of our difficulties across 2020, was one of the first to express his delight for us. Andrew has remained in touch throughout as he has been particularly mindful of the problems our charity has experienced in accessing any of the government’s ‘rescue’ funding for charities via the local Rother Council, so he was keen to hear the good news and what it means for our charity.

Although unable to visit the boathouse at the time due to restrictions, once the most recent round of unlocking took place and visitors were allowed Cllr. Mier popped down to the boathouse for a catch up.


“I am very pleased that Rother has awarded the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat a discretionary grant in recognition of their loss of income from fundraising activity during the pandemic. The boat’s vital work had to carry on while income was curtailed.”

Cllr, Andrew Mier

During his visit on Sunday 23rd May 2021, Cllr. mier was able to see our volunteers in action, quite literally, as they worked to remove the remaining rubbish and pollution gathered in the recent Strandliners’ beach clean up at Fairlight Cove.

As a Fairlight resident, Cllr. Mier is aware of the difficulties with pollution in the area and of the work being undertaken by volunteers to keep the local environment and its users – human, flora, fauna or fishes – to stay clean and safe.


“I am also very pleased to see the rescue boat working with Strandliners to remove and analyse troubling quantities of plastic waste from our beaches […] We are very lucky to have so many dedicated volunteers serving our community and I thank all concerned for what they are doing.”

Cllr, Andrew Mier

It was great to have our first proper visit from someone ‘outside’ of our volunteer teams, now that this is permitted. It was also particularly good to see Cllr. Mier and his partner Carol (as pictured with our Chair, Kev) to be able to say thank you for the ongoing support. Kev was also able to say an official thank you to our local Rother Councillor for the grant:

“Along with many charities, we have struggled with the impact of the pandemic on our ability to raise money for our significant running costs. Achieving this grant enables us to continue to provide rescue services as lockdown lifts and local beaches become busier, and we appreciate the support and recognition from Councillor Mier and Rother District Council.”


As an independent charity providing rescue services, we are run solely by volunteers. 

We receive no government funding, so we have to fundraise every penny needed to buy and maintain our equipment and to pay our considerable running costs. 

Since the start of 2020, these have increased to over £10,000 a year.

If you would like to support us, your donation would really be appreciated as it will help us assist those in danger on our local coastline.

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

Our 2021 Charity Raffle is Afloat – Thanks to Homewood Leisure

 With the pandemic continuing to keep our fundraising closed down, our volunteers are working hard to keep our self-funded charity afloat. And it’s fair to say that at times like this, help from the community and local businesses to meet our £10k a year running costs is much appreciated.

Which is why we’re very pleased to share that a local company, Homewood Leisure, have made us a very generous prize donation to enable us to run a fundraiser raffle for the first half of 2021.

Stuart Homewood, pictured with the Tonga Hot Tub and PLIRB volunteer, Tornado Helm Sarah Harris.

 Homewood Leisure is a Rye-based company, specialising in hot tubs, swimming pools and spas. After reading about our fundraising problems in the Rye News, owner Stuart Homewood decided to help with the launch of a special single-prize charity raffle fundraiser and has donated the star prize of a family-sized hot tub. We shared this wonderful news with Rye News just before Christmas and are now pleased to fill in some of the details here …

As cousin of one of our volunteers, Tornado Helm Sarah Harris, Stuart already has an interest in our charity. He also has a fishing boat down at Pett Level. Stuart’s also a member of the Hastings Winkle Club and as such he’s become very aware of the problems faced by local charities as a result of the pandemic.

“I was reading that it costs around £10,000 a year to fund the rescue boat so I thought, why not pop one of these out there?

It’s a £5,000 model so if we can sell enough tickets we could raise £10k, keep the boat funded for a year and give our support locally.”

Stuart Homewood, Homewood Leisure

Hot tub charity raffle details

* PRIZE HOT TUB * This amazing prize is a family-sized Tonga, 200cm x 200cm x 89cm, with electronics, cover, cover lifter, steps and chemical starter kit. This popular model usually retails at £4,999.00.

* PRIZE EXTRAS * Delivery and installation usually cost £250 each. However, if the prize winner lives within 20 miles of the Homewood Leisure retail space just outside Rye, delivery and installation could be included with the prize. This offer is subject to a site survey which would need to confirm a straightforward delivery and installation process. More complex deliveries, involving a hiab or other crane unit, would be subject to additional costs.

* TICKETS * Tickets cost just £2.50 each. They have been printed in books of 4 and can be sold in any combination. 1000 books have been printed, with the overall goal in mind of selling 4,000 tickets to help Stuart meet his aim of keeping our rescue boat afloat with a whole year of costs covered!

* TICKET SALES *Although the exciting plan for this raffle includes launching the raffle and selling raffle tickets from the PLIRB boathouse and from Homewood Leisure, the new year lockdown has of course made this impossible for the time being. However, in the meantime, a couple of essential local shops which are still open have offered to sell tickets for us. These are:

  • Fairlight Post Office & Stores
  • The Old Butcher’s Shop – Pett

* VOLUNTEERS * Tickets can also be obtained from our volunteers, so if you know a volunteer please ask!

* HOMEWOOD LEISURE * Tickets can also be obtained from Homewood Leisure – look out for them on social media!

* ONLINE TICKET SALES * To get things started in a safe way, we’ve set up an online system for ticket sales, using Give As You Live. Please visit the dedicated ticket sales / donation page for more information on how to buy your raffle tickets online.

The Grand Plan for the CHARITY RAFFLE Draw

The original grand plan was to draw this raffle at our Open Day in May. However, as a result of the prolonged New Year lockdown, the May date has been cancelled.

Instead, the draw will take place on Sunday 29th August 2021, the provisional date for a rescheduled open day.

If an outside gathering of an Open day is not allowed in August, Stuart will instead visit our boathouse on Sunday 29th August and make a socially distanced draw to find the lucky winner of this amazing prize, which we will Live Stream direct on social media.

Everyone involved with our charity is completely bowled over by Stuart’s generosity and would like to say a very big thank you to Stuart, as our charity’s Chair, Kev, explains:

“Along with lots of other charities this year, we’re struggling to raise funds to cover our operational costs.

This amazing prize donation has potential not only to raise the money we desperately need, but also to raise awareness of our charity’s work and of the costs involved in providing these life saving services.”

Kev Nuttall, PLIRB Charity Committee Chairperson

Would you like to help us with this very special charity raffle?

If any local retailers, companies, venues and social groups would like to sell tickets on our behalf, this would be very welcome.

Please email PLIRB fundraising volunteers at

Or, message us via any of our social media platforms to express an interest.

If you’d like to help by sharing – please download the featured image at the top of this post and share on social media!

Thank you so much!

Support Our Charity with a Movement for Good Nomination?

Lockdown or not, we’re moving to that time of year again! It’s no secret that this year has been a real struggle for everyone and, as a self-funded charity, we’re definitely facing a challenge when it comes to staying afloat.

But if our friends and supporters don’t mind, there’s an easy way to help us with a little christmas giving that won’t cost you a penny …

christmas giving, launch

How to help us with charity nominations

Ecclesiastical’s Movement for Good 12 days of Giving awards are now open for nominations. Like the scheme Ecclesiastical ran back in May, charity nominations are now being invited. Each nomination is entered into a Christmas Giving draw, with every charity having the chance to win £1,000.

As a registered UK charity, we’re eligible to be in the draw … so here’s our request. Please could our friends and supporters nominate us for the 12 Days of Giving opportunity? In the spirit of having to be in it to win it, it’s literally the case that the more nominations our charity receives, the better our chance of being selected to win one of the £1,000 awards.

It’s quick and easy to nominate Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat online. The set up this time around means that typing our full name into the search bar and clicking search should bring us up as an option to click, along with our charity number 286891.

Nominations are already open and can be placed online at Votes can be made until Monday 21st December 2020. The 12 Days comes into play for an exciting round of random daily draws from December 7th to 22nd, when 10 deserving charities a day could each win £1,000.

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Please support our community charity

As our friends know, we’ve remained rescue-ready throughout the pandemic, and across both lockdowns. All of our planned fundraising activities for 2020 have not been able to take place, so our income is significantly down whilst our costs have been rising.

Our financial year ends on 31st December 2020, so the Movement for Good draws taking place across December means the chance of winning £1,000 before the year end would help breach the worrying gap between our income and our outgoings in 2020.

Mark Hews, Group CEO of Ecclesiastical, says:

“As a commercial company with a charitable purpose, giving back is at the heart of our business. Our annual 12 Days of Giving Christmas campaign will help charities change lives for the better and we know that for many charities, £1,000 can make a real different. We’re encouraging everyone to nominate a cause close to their hearts this Christmas, to be in with the chance to win a festive financial boost.”

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Costs for maintenance and equipment continue even though income is low … 

a broken winch here, fuel pump there, it all adds up and any support for our running costs is always appreciated.

So, if you like what we do and are able to take a moment to nominate us over at Movement for Good (ensuring our charity number 286891 shows) we would really appreciate it. To be honest, it would make a huge 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 when the draws start taking place next month, and of course we also look forward to seeing everyone properly again soon too! In the meantime, #staysafe and #beachaware out there.

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50p to Park Can Support A Charity, Thanks to Elm Tree Bootsale

Everyone here at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat is pleased to say a heart-felt huge thank you to Kit and Jan McLean, of  Elm Tree Bootsale for their extremely welcome donation of £1,000 to our charity.

In this awful year, it’s been hard for us to fund raise in the community and it’s also been hard for the community to support a charity. However,  the parking fee contributed by visitors to the local Icklesham bootsale has meant life-saving support to us.

Of course, the Elm Tree bootsale itself has also been challenged by the pandemic. The prolonged lockdown and the restrictions on gatherings means that across the bootsale ‘season’ as a whole, bootsales were only able to take place 7 times at Elm Tree,  instead of the usual 14.

But as Kit and Jan are aware of our particular challenges this year, so they were keen that their annual donation to support a charity which is completely self-funded should still go ahead. 

After all, Kit and Jan have particular empathy for charities run by volunteers, where the donations are used to directly support the cause.  So, when visitors to the bootsale contribute a 50p parking fee, Kit and Jan donate this directly to local causes. As a result, across the 20+ years they have been running the Elm Tree Bootsale, Kit and Jan estimate they have raised and donated in the region of £100,000 to local charities.


“We try to do quite a bit for Five Villages Minibus, The MOPPs and the POPPs – our donation buys a Christmas dinner for local pensioners – Friends of the Conquest Hospital, Fairlight Playgroup, Rother Responders and other local charities.

We’re happy to be making this donation to support a charity like the PLIRB because it’s a local charity and it all helps local people. I was in the PLIRB crew many years ago and if we save one life, it’s worth it.”

Kit McLean

Our Treasurer, Stella Dunn, pictured with Kit and Jan McLean, said:

“We’re extremely grateful to Kit and Jan McLean for their continued support. The unexpected situation this year has caused us significant difficulties with fundraising to meet our running costs. This donation will really help to breach the real short-fall caused by not being able to hold our annual Open Day Fundraiser, due to lockdown. Specifically, this donation will be used for essential equipment repairs and replacements.

We’d also like to say thank you to the people who support the bootsale, either as a seller or a customer, as not many people realise that the parking fee at the bootsale helps to support community charities such as ours.”


As an independent charity providing rescue services, we are run solely by volunteers. 

We receive no government funding, so we have to fundraise every penny needed to buy and maintain our equipment and to pay our considerable running costs. 

Since the start of 2020, these have increased to over £10,000 a year.

If you would like to support us, your donation would really be appreciated as it will help us assist those in danger on our local coastline.

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

Got a Pawfect Pet? Join Our Charity Photo Competition

With the pandemic closing down our community fundraising, and the ring-fence around the government’s support for charities being a complete barrier to us, it’s fair to say things are a bit hard going. However, we’ve had some brilliant help from our friends and we’ve been thinking creatively about ways to raise funds to meet our £10k a year running costs through other means.

Of course, even though no one is ‘out there’ for fun community events, there’s no reason why we can’t put a bit of FUN into our fundraising. And speaking of which, we’ve just launched our charity photo competition …


Yes, our Pawfect Pet Photo competition is under way! It all takes place online, so keeping everyone safe with no community face-to-face, but still a way to enjoy some fun with our friends!

And speaking of which, friend of the PLIRB charity, comedian Jo Brand, is going to be our virtual judge!

Honourary PLIRB pooch Seamus gives full details over on the Giving Page, but here’s also a general overview below.

There are 6 fun categories (and no, you don’t have to be a cat)!

* FLUFFIEST PET * includes those of you with fluffy feathers and even fleeces … if you’re fluffy, get your photo in!

* HELPFUL PET * whether you’re a qualified assistance animal, or a pet that’s super helpful around the home, garden or work, this could be the category for you. All it takes is a photo of you being helpful (whether you were invited to or not) and Jo will judge you!

* SCARY PET * scary and hairy, bald and blood-curdling, toothy and terrifying? Don’t worry, you have a place in our hearts and our competition. Even if you’re normally nice but you got caught on camera having a bad day, let’s see that scary side of you!

* HAPPIEST PET * because everyone knows a goldfish can smile, right? Whether it’s a toothy grin or a ‘caught-on-camera’ grimace, give us a smile for the camera!

* ALL-ACTION PET * got a shot of your pet going all out to get among the action? Then this is your category – please share!

* ONE OF THE FAMILY * are you a dog, cat, even a rabbit that resembles its owner? Perhaps you’re a goat that thinks it’s one of the kids? However it works, let’s have a look at those family photos. For this category though, please be sure you’re happy for the persons to be included please.


1) Please send an email with picture attached to and within the email please include:

* Pet name

* Category for entry

* Contact telephone number.

* Please could you also state if you are happy for the photo to be shared on our social media?

2) For each photo entry you submit, it would be fabulous if you could make a donation of £5 on the Giving Page. Just use the donation button and add the pet name and category to the message part of the donation. You could also add your own message if you’d like to – we love to hear from our supporters!

The competition closes at 5 pm on Sunday 11th October. After this, no more entries will be accepted and Judge Jo Brand will have the seriously hard task of choosing the Pawfect Pet for each category.

Winners will be announced on #winningwednesday 14th October – which also happens to be Hastings Day, a nod to our local area and our Hastings-celebrity judge!

And prizes?

* Categories: for each category, the winner chosen by Jo will receive a rosette, certificate and a pack of our greetings cards (each winner can choose from our 8 lovely pack options, kindly sponsored by Static Trader).

* Overall: from the 6 category winners, Jo will also pick an overall competition winner, for the prize of a 20cm x 30 cm canvas, printed by Max Spielmann at Hastings (Churchwood Drive Tesco Extra). The canvas can be of any photo of the winner’s choice – it doesn’t have to be the competition entry (unless you want it to be of course)!

Thanks Max Spielmann and Jo Brand for making this possible!

The competition is open now, so please get your entries into our charity photo competition soon! And don’t forget to look out on our social media for pup-dates! 


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.