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.

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.

Please Support Us with Free Online Charity Fundraising

It’s a week since we launched our #SofaSurfingShoppingChallenge, where we invited friends and supporters to help us with a bit of online charity fundraising. We’ve been asked for an update on how to get involved, so here’s some information which might help!


How lockdown shopping could help keep our rescue boat afloat

Coronavirus is bad news for everyone and we sincerely hope that everyone, including friends and supporters of our rescue boat and our local communities are doing OK, and keeping as safe and as healthy as possible over this difficult time.

Although our rescue boat volunteers are unable to gather together at the moment, work carries on quietly behind the scenes to keep us rescue-ready, tso we can respond to emergencies and save lives as needed.

However, as an independent rescue service, keeping ourselves afloat (financially and literally) is a concern. To be honest, it’s also a major challenge in the current lockdown situaton.

Ordinarily at this time of year, our May Open Day would be coming up, and would have generated some of the funds needed to keep our charity afloat during the summer. But now that this, our primary annual fundraiser, is cancelled until at least September, we’re thinking differently. Certainly, the challenge is to raise funds from behind closed doors, to help us keep our lovely local beaches safe once lockdown is lifted.

And there is a way we can do it … with no risk to anyone but with a bit of help from our friends!


Welcome to our #SofaSurfingShoppingChallenge!

With the switch to online grocery shopping, there’s now an extra way to help us raise funds but without costing anyone a penny extra. Several of the major supermarkets, as well as other retailers, give to charities through the Give As You Live shopping platform. By signing up to support PettLlevel Independent Rescue Boat as your chosen charity within Give As You Live, then shopping through the portal, you could help us raise money.

We previously wrote a how-to post on this, which you can read here.

Just taking the extra time to do this, and shopping through the Give As You Live platform instead of going direct to the websites of your favourite shops, you will be taking a small extra step that could make a big difference to us.

We have several fundraising projects on the go, but we’ll call this one our #SofaSurfingShoppingChallenge! All funds raised will go into our running costs pot, which helps us with onging maintenance and equipment.


Now then … we’d love to start of with a goal of £500 for this!


Too much, too little? Who knows? One thing’s for sure though, £500 is a drop in the ocean compared to our annual running costs of around £7,500! So what we do know is that we’d appreciate any support you can give us, perhaps through shopping and sharing our #SofaSurfingShoppingChallenge!

We’re launching this campaign on our social media today too (Facebook @PettLevelRescueBoat  and Twitter @PLIRBRescue) and will add updates there as well as here on the blog, to let you know how much progress we’re making. Thanks so much for getting involved with our #SofaSurfingShoppingChallenge!


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.