Support from the Community – Ocean Ceramics, Winchelsea Beach

We’re very pleased to share that local ceramic artist Marian Mason is supporting the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat as part of her upcoming festive Open Studio event.

Marian’s Ocean Ceramics Festive Open Studio takes place on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December, from 11 am to 5 pm each day. This charity fundraising event will be held at Marian’s studio at 7, Windmill Way, Winchelsea Beach, TN36 4LF.

As with Marian’s previous Open Studio Mad Hatter’s event back in the summer, Marian is holding her festive charity fundraising event to raise money for both the PLIRB and St. Michael’s Hospice. There will be mince pies and mulled wine, the opportunity to buy some of Marian’s fabulous ceramic creations, her wonderful Ghost of Camber Castle children’s book and additional items.

Marian is also hosting some of the PLIRB merchandise, including our greetings cards and 2020 calendars, so if you are hoping to buy some of these, please do take the opportunity to visit the Ocean Ceramics Open Studio and help raise money for community causes whilst you’re there. A huge thank you to Marian for holding this event, it really is appreciated.

Support In ~ and From ~ The Community For Our Defibrillator Campaign

Our final fundraiser of our busy summer season is now complete, and there’s exciting news to go with it!

It’s been a busy year so far, with 2019 proving to be a year when our volunteers’ First Aid skills have been in demand: at community events, in the course of Shouts, and as a service for the public and the local community during our Sunday sessions at the boathouse.

This being the case, the PLIRB volunteers and committee decided that a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD), which could be installed at the boathouse would be an extremely useful first aid and community resource. The only problem was raising the funds to buy one …

But plans to raise the funds were given a welcome boost when friend of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, Mike Raxworthy decided to put on a music festival event as a way of supporting us. Mike teamed up with Garry Fellows of the Two Sawyers in Pett to provide a music event in the sunshine, and an afternoon to remember in September.

One busy afternoon of community support later ….

There was a fantastic turn out for the event, with the local community and visitors to the area alike getting behind the event. Across the whole afternoon of fundraising, which included optional bar-tab donations, live music with donation points, donation buckets, and a PLIRB-stall with star-prize raffle and merchandise, the event raised a total of £1600.

This, alongside a community donation from Riddelcourt Caravan Park, meant that our defibrillator-cost fundraising goal was no sooner launched than it was achieved!


This meant we’ve been able to buy the defibrillator much more quickly than anticipated – in fact, we were able to have it delivered and in pride of place as part of the formal cheque presentation of the funds. Both Mike Raxworthy and Garry Fellows came down to the PLIRB boathouse at the end of September, with the cheque and plenty of smiles.

Making this happen has really boosted the support we’re able to offer in the local community, so our heartfelt thanks go to:

  • Mike Raxworthy
  • Garry Fellows & staff of the Two Sawyers
  • The Harry Randle-Marsh Band
  • Soul Train
  • 1066 Rockitt Men
  • Michael Turner
  • ,,, and everyone who supported or contributed to the huge success of this event.

 Thanks also to the community at Riddelcourt Caravan Site, for their generous support of this campaign.

At the time of posting, the defibrillator is safely inside the boathouse whilst we wait for the appropriate casing to be able to install this to the outside of the boathouse, ready for community use. This should take place within the next few weeks.

** Thanks also to Rother Responders for their help and advice in making the purchase. If you’d like to know more about Rother Responders, or more about PADs, please check out the Rother Responders website**

Supporting the Community – Riding for the Disabled

This weekend saw us out and about again having fun supporting a local charity that’s close to our hearts – the local branch of Riding for the Disabled.

The local RDA group had planned an exciting Doggy Extravaganza event for Sunday 22nd September 2019. This was held at their regular riding venue, the beautiful Fairlight Hall. And, because the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat team’s BBQ skills have been popular this summer, we were asked to bring up our BBQ and our smiles to help support the fundraising. So of course we jumped at the chance to support this great cause.

Of course Sundays are busy down at the boathouse, but enough volunteers were around on the day to allow for some of our boat and base teams to be busy down at the boathouse with the usual training and equipment maintenance, whilst others were up at the Doggy Extravaganza. Some of the team even did aspects of both events as they ferried tables, gazebo and of course the BBQ back and forth.

Our stand certainly proved popular and we had a great time. It gave us a chance to not only be involved in the event, but also to spend time with volunteers from another charity. Our ‘Come and Chat to Us’ sign was also in play, giving us the chance to sell a couple of pieces of our own merchandise. And of course the main purpose, raising funds for the RDA with a bit of BBQ and banter was also successful. Our stand certainly seemed popular – especially our veggie option this time around. Although we don’t know how much was raised yet, we’re hoping that plenty of vital funds have been raised for RDA. Thanks so much for inviting us!

Want to support a local charity?

If you’d like to know more about the work of the local Riding for the Disabled at Fairlight Hall, please check out their website here.

If you’d like to know more about volunteering with Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat – whether for boat, base or BBQ, please contact us or come down to see us at the boathouse of a Sunday morning! You’ll be very welcome. 

Meanwhile, Back on Dry Land, Supporting SRUK

The summer’s not just been a busy time for PLIRB volunteers as a whole – for long-serving PLIRB member Jo Barry this summer’s been all about meeting an individual challenge too. 

Across the summer Jo’s been a key player in all of the PLIRB’s own community efforts – both in offering community support as events and in being an active part of the organisation and on-the-day presence at our community fundraising events. In between, she’s also been actively out on the boat in response to a recent Shout, as shown in the photos below …

As well as all of her PLIRB work and the day job, Jo’s been in serious training for the #ThamesBridgeChallenge which took place on Saturday 7th September.

As part of the challenge, Jo and her team of ‘Mat’s Babes’ walked the 25km route across London, and crossing 16 of the capital’s bridges. In doing so, Jo’s been raising money for Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK – the only UK charity supporting individuals with Scleroderma and Reynauds.

Jo’s been actively supporting this charity for many years, and you can read why on her Just Giving page.

As the photo shows, Jo and the team were determined to make a success of the day and they certainly have! Her page has so far raised over £600 and is still actively taking donations, so if you’d like to take a look and perhaps donate, it would be very welcome and well received.

Jo does so much to support the efforts of the PLIRB and it’s great to be able to share her own efforts to support a cause close to her heart and we wish Jo every success in her fundraising efforts for SRUK. If anyone else would like to additionally support us to support her by sharing her Just Giving page, that would be much appreciated, thank you.

Support from the Community – Coop, Winchelsea Beach

On one of the busiest weekends of the year, we are delighted to have been invited to the Coop, Winchelsea Beach store. 

The August Bank Holiday is a busy weekend all around, but especially for a retailer whose store is right next door to a much-loved caravan holiday site. So we feel very fortunate indeed to have been able to go along to the store on Saturday 24th August, for a few hours of raising awareness about our work, about beach safety,  and also to promote some of our merchandise and do a little fundraising in our local community. 

This is all part of the continued support we’ve had from the Winchelsea Beach community and from the local Coop. Coop’s Winchelsea Beach store has the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat as one of its chosen community causes, raising extra funds for us by converting customers’ loyalty points to cash: this has raised a massive £1165 for us over the years.

If you’d like to know more about this, please check out this page.

Being along there with our smaller Tornado boat on this very busy Saturday at the height of the beach season meant we enjoyed plenty of interest from shoppers and donations.

As well as our own stall and collection point at the store entrance, staff also placed a donation bucket by the tills in-store, so that customers could donate their change after shopping, if they wanted to.

And as well as looking after us inside the store, the store manager took care of us  in the heat of the day outside, with lovely bottles of cold water from the fridge to keep us safely hydrated and comfortable – thanks so much, Mark!

And how did we do? Between the donations received and sales of our merchandise, we raised almost £440 which will be safely banked towards our ongoing running costs.

In all, we had a brilliant time and were so well looked after. Thank you so much once again to Coop, the manager and staff at Coop, Winchelsea Beach and to all the shop’s customers who came to chat to us and support us through donations or by buying our merchandise. All support is much appreciated and without such generosity, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. 

** Of course, although some of our volunteers were along at the Coop store with the smaller inshore rescue boat, we were also very mindful of the busy beaches and potential for a ‘shout.’ Rest assured, our larger Pulfer boat was along at the boathouse, with additional teams available in the event of us being needed. **

Support from the Community – Asda St. Leonards

August has continued to be busy, but in a fantastic way! Very recently, we were invited to bring the Tornado boat up to Asda St. Leonards to spend some time putting fun into fundraising.

Yes, Saturday 17th August saw volunteers from our base and boat crews, committee and Trustees representing us up at Asda St. Leonards. This gave us a great chance not only to raise awareness about our work and about beach safety, but also to do some fundraising and have a little fun in the community.

Asda have been amazing with their generosity in supporting us. We were invited to bring the boat up, as well as our own merchandise to sell and our donation pots. On a busy Saturday, this meant we enjoyed plenty of interest from shoppers, and took several enquiries from people who might like to get involved as a volunteer in the future.

We were very pleased to receive lots of donations from generous shoppers, who not only shared their spare change, but even a few spare notes on the day. Our calendars are now starting to sell too, which is a hopeful sign as the clock ticks towards the latter quarter of 2019!

But the real fun part of the day was spending time with kiddies who wanted to ask questions and explore the boat. All interest in what we do and how we do it leads into conversations about beach safety, and at this time of the year it’s essential. So in all, it really was a positive community day, thanks to Asda.

And how did we do? Between the donations received and sales of our merchandise, we raised just over £400 towards the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat running costs.

There will be more news on a boost from this next month, as we’re currently part of Asda’s Green Token scheme (read about that here). This ends in September and we could stand a chance of receiving an additional donation thanks to Asda and its customers.

Thank you so much once again to Asda, the staff at Asda St. Leonards and to everyone who came to chat to us and support us through donations or by buying our merchandise. All support is much appreciated and will go towards our annual running costs, to keep us afloat for another year!