Open Day 2020

Yes, it’s come around again already and we’re super busy with preparations for our main charity fundraising event of the year … and of course, this year is a very special one for us!


Holding our Open Day on the May Spring Bank Holiday weekend last year certainly proved to be a good move for us, so this year it’s same again, as the poster above shows!

Would you like to support our charity fundraising event?

There are many ways to support the PLIRB Open Day – including with preparations and through helping on the day. Our volunteers are already putting in the extra hours to get the preparations underway, and we’re currently looking for additional support if possible through:

  • Donations of good quality items for us to sell
  • Donations of items, services or vouchers for our Grand Raffle
  • Donations of refreshment items – cakes and other treats are welcome
  • Getting in touch with us to volunteer to help on the day
  • Coming along on the day, to spend time with the team, check out the stalls and have a go in the raffle!

If you are not able to donate anything or come along on the day, there are still other ways to support us. You might like to …


  • Share our blog posts and social media posts, to help us publicise our Open Day.
  • Tell your friends and colleagues about us, so that they can be aware and even be there!
  • Visit our boathouse on a Sunday morning to pick up a poster to display for us (check our social media and we’ll let you know when these are available for collection.
Why our charity fundraiser event is important for us

As an independent rescue boat charity, we receive no central or government funding, and no subsidies for providing beach safety and rescue services in our local community. We raise all of our running, equipment, maintenance and training costs ourselves and welcome sponsorship and fundraising support from benefactors, national corporations, local businesses and thoughtful individuals.

We greatly value our role in the local community and our annual Open Day is our favourite opportunity for fundraising because it’s when we can open our doors, set up stalls and a show and invite our community to join with us for a day which puts the FUN into fundraising.

If you would like to know more about us, and why our fundraising is so important, please click the button below for our fundraising and donations page.

And of course, 2020 is particularly special for us because it’s the 50th Anniversary of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.

We’d be absolutely blown away if we could achieve a total on the day which includes a 5-0 at the beginning, so if you think you can help in any way, please do get in touch. Meanwhile, please keep checking back for updates on progress and for news on the activities lined up for Open Day!

We truly appreciate all help we receive and look forward to sharing our day with you.


Support from the Community – Asda St. Leonards – again!

We’ve enjoyed some fabulous support from Asda St. Leonards in 2019, which was rounded off with another invite to take our Tornado boat up to the shop on Saturday 7th December.

Asda chose us as a local charity to support this year and have welcomed us to the shop twice this year. The visit last Saturday was a great way to round off the year of support from both Asda and shoppers in the St. Leonards community. It gave us the chance to chat with locals on a busy shopping Saturday. With just two Saturdays left until Christmas, our stand was well attended, our Tornado well investigated by eager children and our volunteers thoroughly enjoyed chatting to so many people and raise awareness about our work and about beach safety. It also gave us the chance raise some funds by selling some of our merchandise and by having a few donation buckets dotted around! 

Overall, this was amazingly successful for us. We had a great time meeting and greeting Christmas shoppers, who were generous with their time and donations. In all, we sold over £40 worth of our fundraising merchandise, including 2020 calendars, greetings cards and our car stickers. We also collected £494.93 in donations from the public and Asda staff who visited our stand.

We really would like to thank everyone involved in making the day such a success, including everyone who chatted and donated to us. We’d also like to particularly thank Asda for choosing us as a local charity to support in 2019 – as we’ve benefited from not just fundraising with them last weekend, but also on our previous visit to the St. Leonards branch back in August. We also received £200 as a runner up in their fun Green Token Scheme in September.

We may be an independent rescue charity, but we sincerely welcome community and corporate support

As an independent rescue boat charity we receive no national funding and raise all of our funds for running costs, equipment and training ourselves. We joke about the fact that fundraising ‘keeps us afloat’ but this is literally what it does and is one of the reasons why, when we’re not training, maintaining our equipment or providing rescue, support and first aid services in the local community, our volunteers are out there involved in fundraising activities.

The support from Asda this year has made a fantastic difference to us and has added a total of approximately £1,000 to our funds. We really couldn’t have achieved this alone, thank you Asda St. Leonards.

Support from the Community – Ocean Ceramics Fundraiser Update

So, time for an update of the successful fundraising event held by local ceramic artist Marian Mason, in her festive Open Studio event.

It’s great when individuals in the local community show support for charity at a local level. It’s particularly wonderful for a rescue service like ours, which is totally independent of any central funding and national-scale fundraising, and where everyone is a volunteer.

Marian is a fantastic example of this community support, and she has raised funds for us across two event this year. As well as her Mad Hatter’s event in the summer, last weekend Marian held the Ocean Ceramics Festive Open Studio as a way to combine selling some of her beautiful handcrafted ceramics with raising funds for two local charities – the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat and St. Michael’s Hospice.

To support the fundraising aspect for us, Marian also hosted a table of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat merchandise, as well as a donation bucket.

We’re very pleased to now share Marian’s success! Many of Marian’s generous visitors bought some of our cards, calendars and stickers, so PLIRB merchandise is now getting ‘out there’. Still more of those at her event also popped donations into the bucket, all of which raised a wonderful total of £72.23 for our rescue charity. It’s worth remembering that, as summer is the main fundraising season for us and our fundraising slows considerably in the winter months, this amazing total is a real extra boost for us.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Marian for her hard work in holding this event, and for showing her support for charity causes close to her heart. Everyone here at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat is very grateful for Marian’s support for us with this extra fundraising in 2019 – thank you so much!

Asda St. Leonards Green Token Scheme Success

Here’s a follow up to some of our previous posts about the support we’ve been receiving from Asda St. Leonards and in particular from their Green Token Scheme.

Asda’s Green Token Scheme involves shoppers receiving a token, which they can choose to put into one of three collection points. Each of the collection points is for a different charity. At the end of the campaign, each charity receives a cash donation from Asda, depending on where they finished in the competition. Throughout this Autumn, one of the charities nominated was Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.

Asda hosts the Green Token Scheme as part of their regular charitable giving for community causes, and we were pleased to be runners up for this Autumn, with a prize donation of £200 from Asda.

The photo shows PLIRB Trustees John Pulfer and John Brooker receiving the donation on behalf of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.

Overall, we’ve received some amazing and very generous support from Asda, St. Leonards and its customers this year … and it’s not over yet. Just as they did back in the summer, Asda have invited us back up to the store on Saturday 7th December to host a donation collection point. This time around, as well as spreading the word about sea safety we’re also going to be spreading a bit of Christmas cheer with our calendars and cards for sale, so please do come and see us to say hello.

Once again, we’d like to say a huge thank you so much once to Asda, the staff at Asda St. Leonards and to everyone who has supported us through Asda’s charitable giving schemes – this support from our local communities is much appreciated.

Support from the Community – Several Thank Yous!

We’ve been humbled by the level of community support we’ve received lately, to boost our fundraising, so this post is dedicated to updating our followers on recent donations and events.

It’s amazing really, because much of our fundraising takes place in the summer, but throughout this Autumn the community around us – from local organisations to local branches of national companies – have continued to hold events and to raise funds for us.

Independent by name, but we do depend on being able to raise funds to stay afloat

As an independent rescue boat, we have to raise all running costs ourselves and do rely on donations and support. With just a small team of our own fundraisers (many of whom double up as boat and base crews) it’s fantastic for us when others run fundraising events on our behalf.

This kind of support has really taken off this year, including throughout the past few weeks, so we’re very happy to share what some of our supporters have achieved for us:


  • Elm Tree Bootsale have donated £1,000 raised from their regular bootsales over the 2019 season.
  • Old Town Street Traders in Hastings have raised £5,000 for us across summer events in Hastings Old Town (as seen in the photo above).
  • We’ve received £200 thanks to Asda and their Green Token Scheme, where shoppers voted us into the runner up position as a chosen local charity.
  • Local branches of Co-op in Ore Village and Winchelsea Beach have raised a significant amount for us thanks to their loyalty scheme and through donation pots in their stores.
  • We’ve also received over £200 thanks to Dominic Varley who signed his employer up to Payroll Giving on behalf of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.
  • Ye Olde 1066 Charity Group (part of the 1066 Bikers) held a fundraising quiz for us and raised £69 (photo below of the PLIRB team in action).

There are also several more fundraisers coming up before the end of the year – the next ones being the Ocean Ceramics Open Studio event in Winchelsea Beach next week and another in-store fundraiser at Asda, St. Leonards on 7th December 2019, so it’s not too late to get involved in supporting us by coming along to a fundraising event.

As ever, we are extremely grateful for all amounts raised – whether small or large, every penny counts. And of course, the support we’ve received throughout 2019 is much wider than those listed in this post. Our dedicated thank you page is coming soon but to everyone who has supported us this year, a heartfelt thank you.  

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.