Sean’s Bike Ride for PLIRB Charity – New Date

Just a quick update on Sean’s progress in his charity bike ride plans, to raise money for us.

There are two lots of latest news to share on this … one is a change of date, the other is a little share of how Sean’s putting some extra fun into the FUNdraising part!

Things have been extremely busy for Sean lately and although he’s made major strides in both training and fundraising, he’s now also ended up with a clash of dates.

So, instead of staying with the original date of 13th September which was set as the London to Brighton 2020 charity bike ride date (as discussed in a previous post) Sean’s had a problem-solving rethink. The new date will be Saturday 26th September. Everything else is the same, it’s just the change of day and date!

And the fundraising? Sean’s giving page currently shows £155 + Gift Aid, whilst we’ve also received a couple of donations through the website and a crisp £50 to sponsor Sean. This means that already there’s £255 + in the pot as a result of Sean’s fundraiser, which is amazing. And coming soon, is a little idea to add more FUN to Sean’s fundraising efforts.

Check back soon or follow us on social media for the next update!

Charity Fundraising Events – Ocean Ceramics Garden Party Update

It’s been a busy bank holiday weekend at the boathouse, and also for local ceramic artist and friend of PLIRB, Marian Mason.

After many months with all charity fundraising events cancelled, on Sunday 30th August, Marian was able to successfully social-distance her Mad Hatter’s Garden Party fundraiser. Marian holds this event every summer, to raise money for us here at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, plus St. Michael’s Hospice.

Although the weather started off a bit dubiously, the sun did come out and Marian was able to open her lovely ceramics studio, plus her garden, to visitors for the day.

Marian’s very aware of the issues local charities like ourselves are now facing, as charity fundraising events have been cancelled across the UK. With the loss of our fundraising Open Day, which is the major event for raising our running costs, things have been looking very worrying.

With restrictions not yet lifted enough – and certainly not recommended – for large-scale fundraisers, Marian’s once more helping us along with a local fundraiser. As part of her annual Garden Party and Open Studio event, Marian dedicated a section of her studio to PLIRB, as well as a donation pot and leaflets about our Weather Lottery participation.

Many of Marian’s generous visitors seemed to like our latest greetings cards – our beach image cards were a particularly good seller at Ocean Ceramics, which seems quite fitting! Plenty of donations were also popped into the pot and we’re pleased to share that Marian raised a total of £86.50 for the PLIRB charity.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Marian for her hard work in holding this event, and her charity fundraising on our behalf. With the shadow of the pandemic still lurking, every penny counts towards our annual running costs and all of us here at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat is very grateful to Marian. Thank you so much!

Community Support – Ocean Ceramics, Winchelsea Beach

It’s been a very bad year for everyone, but as things are now returning to the ‘new normal’ we’re very pleased to share that there’s a bit of good news on the fundraising front.

Friend of the PLIRB, Marian Mason at Ocean Ceramics is opening up her garden for one of the few charity events 2020 that it’s still possible to hold, her Mad Hatter’s Garden Party. 

Of course, any of the charity events 2020 still brings come with the social distancing twist, and the outdoor space of Marian’s lovely garden makes this possible.  The Mad Hatter’s Garden Party offers:

  • Access to Marian’s lovely studio, with Marian’s fabulous, original ceramics for sale
  • Fortune teller
  • Stalls
  • Refreshments
  • “Mad Hat” competition with prizes

Marian is kindly hosting some of the PLIRB greetings cards and calendars (yes, 2021 is around the corner already), as well as a donation pot for PLIRB. This is because Marian’s Mad Hatter event is a fundraiser for her two chosen charities – Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat and St. Michael’s Hospice.

So, if you’re looking to finally enjoy a bit of ‘out and about’ time over the August Bank Holiday weekend, please support Marian’s Garden Party and help to support two local charities at the same time.

For updates on this event:

All the volunteers at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat would like to say a huge thank you to Marian for fundraising for us at her special event, we really do appreciate it.

Community Support – Sean’s Charity Bike Ride 2020 for PLIRB

Getting back into the community after such a strange time is great, but what is even greater is that our community has our back.

As we’ve been sharing lately, local communities and businesses have been amazing in helping us, and the latest news on this is that Sean O’Sullivan, from local business SOS Entertainment, is planning his charity bike ride 2020 in support of Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat!

Staying rescue-ready throughout the lockdown took some doing, but it’s something we’re very happy to have been able to maintain. However, staying afloat financially whilst not being able to actively fundraise across the majority of the year is something we continue to have difficulty with. As a work colleague of two of our volunteers, Sean’s been quietly trying to think of ways to help.

His original idea, revealed on his own blog, was to take part in the London to Brighton charity bike ride 2020 and to gain sponsorship funds for PLIRB. Unfortunately, soon after signing up and organising a giving page for the event, the L2B event was cancelled.

But, with over £100 already raised – including a fabulous, anonymous £50 note – and a gruelling training schedule already underway, Sean’s decided to carry on in true ‘independent’ charity fashion!

Sean’s sticking with the original ride date of Sunday 13th September 2020 and has now organised his own route, out through Kent and back to the PLIRB boathouse at Pett Level. At just over 54 miles, this is just shy of the 55 miles of the L2B event, but is still going to be a tough way to raise vital funds for us.

“It’s an alternative route, but it’s close to the distance the L2B would cover, so it’s good news that the fundraising can still go ahead! Of course, the new route is pretty much totally flat, which is also good news for me!”

A poster will be ready shortly, but in the meantime, for updates on this event please check out the Event information on the PLIRB Facebook page.

And if you’d like to help, please share Sean’s #SOSpedalforPLIRB giving page.

All the volunteers at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat would like to say a huge thank you to Sean for going to these extreme (54+ mile) lengths to help us. We really do appreciate it and we look forward to greeting you at the boathouse when you complete your marathon charity bike ride 2020!

Barb’s Charity Shed & The ‘New Normal’

For those who have been missing Barb’s Charity Shed for their charity shopping, there’s a little bit of good news. Barbara is now re-opening the Charity Shed on Sunday mornings.

But, in the context of the ‘new normal’ there are a few things to be aware of … 


The Charity Shed is a significant fundraiser for us through the peak seasons of the year. With lockdown lifting, and more visitors coming to the local beached, Barb is keen to reopen the Charity Shed.

However, the ‘new normal’ means it’s impossible to run the shed as before. So, please could all visitors, supporters and customers of the Charity Shed could be aware that:

  • The shed will only open on Sunday mornings when the weather is fine to do so. In the event of any local flare up or additional risk in the area, the shed will not open. As such, opening times may be irregular compared to previous seasons.
  • The shed is open for charity shopping sales only. Please do not bring items down as donations (see below).
  • Customers are asked not to handle goods unless they are wearing gloves, or actually buying the item.
  • Social distancing guidance should be respected at all times. Customers should take turns browsing the tables at the shed.
  • Customers are also asked to respect Barbara’s social distancing and money-handling requirements.
  • Barbara’s without her mask for the photo so she could share her welcoming smile! However, whilst masks outdoors are not mandatory at the moment, wearing a mask whilst browsing at the Charity Shed would be appreciated.

No donated items thank you

The biggest change for the foreseeable future is that the charity shed is not open for donation of items to sell. Please do not drop off items at Barbara’s home or the boathouse. Donated good cannot be accepted, handled, quarantined or stored in a way which is safe for Barbara and her household.

Barbara’s an amazing volunteer who has raised thousands for Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat  in the 7 years she has been running the shed. So please, help us to keep her safe by respecting that the ‘new normal’ for the charity shed.

Thanks to everyone for their understanding and on-going support.




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.

Barbara’s charity shed is an example of this. Normally, the shed would have been open since Easter and would have raised a significant amount by now. The ‘new normal’ means that funds raised by the charity shed are likely to be around 95% down on previous years.

Instead of being able to support us through the Charity Shed, 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.

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.