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!

Supporting the Community – Winchelsea Fete 2019

August continues to rush by in an umbrella-up-umbrella-down kind of way, but thankfully it all held off for the recent Winchelsea Fete and dog show.

The event took place on Saturday 10th August, and Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat base, boat and committee volunteers were invited to attend and provide BBQ facilities. With the Winchelsea Fete, this also meant a chance to bring up the smaller Tornado boat, chat to families about the work we do, collect donations and to sell some of our merchandise. 

Many of our volunteers were able to help out with this one on the day … at one stage we had 13 team members giving a helping hand. But rest assured, being a busy Saturday in August, the main Pulfer boat was ready and waiting down the boathouse in case of an emergency ‘Shout’ whilst several of our crew were suited, booted and ready for action at the fete, ready to quickly relocate should a boat launch be needed.

The event was well attended, which was great after all the poor weather in the run up to the event. We took the opportunity to ‘launch’ our new ‘Come and chat to us’ banner and plenty of people took us up on this. This resulted in us being able raise awareness about a lot of the work we do, as well as share information about local (and general) beach safety. We received lots of additional donations as well as enquiries about volunteering, which was brilliant.

We also had a ring-side view to the Dog Show which was huge fun and very entertaining. Honorary four-footed-crew-member Monty entered this fun competition and achieved himself a tidy rosette, whilst his crew-mate Seamus cheered Monty on whilst also focusing on fundraising with the team.

As well as the event raising money for local community services and charities, Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat came away with just over £300 in additional donations and funds raised on the day.

Thank you so much once again to the Mayor of Winchelsea, Paul Godley, to the Corporation of Winchelsea and to the members of the fete committee who kindly invited us and made us so welcome on the day. Thank you too, to everyone who came to chat to us and supported us by buying merchandise and burgers and donating to us on the day. As ever, all support is much appreciated.

For a Limited Time, It’s Now Possible To Support Us When You Shop at Asda

Good news, good news! For a limited time this summer, it’s possible to support us at no extra cost to yourself. How? Simply by shopping in-store at Asda St. Leonards!

Because the great news is that for the next three months, we’re one of the charity donation nominees at the St. Leonard’s store.

As a nominated rescue boat charity, the Pett Level Independent Rescue boat is in with the chance of gaining a fundraising boost through Asda’s Green Token Giving scheme.

Each store has three prizes of 1st place: £500, 2nd & 3rd place: £200 each. In each case, the donation is made by Asda, to the charity.


The token system


How it works is that qualifying purchases made at the Asda store mean you’ll be offered a green token when you pay at the checkout. Then, on the way out of the store, there’s the choice of placing your green token into the token collection point. At this point, you’ll have a choice from three charities – only one of which can win first prize.

At the end of the 3 months, the tokens are counted up and the winning charity gains the 1st place prize of £500, with the runner up charities each receiving £200 from Asda.

The other chosen charities alongside us for this fun competition are the Hastings Sea Cadets and Surviving the Streets. Both of these charities do amazing work in the local area, so please take a look at their websites and the work they do.

Doing this in advance of your shopping at Asda means you can make a well-informed choice about where to pop your green token! Of course, we’d love it if you could support us  – by the way, ours is the blue collection pathway, just like our shirts – but we’d also like you to be aware of your options – we’re all great local causes after all. As such, we’d also like to wish both the Hastings Sea Cadets and Surviving the Streets all the very best from this fundraiser too – it’s great to be sharing this opportunity with them, thanks to Asda.


See you there?


To help raise our profile, funds and sea safety awareness, Asda has also given us permission to run our own donation-day fundraiser up at Asda St. Leonards on Saturday 17th August. We’ll be up there for most of the day, complete with our Tornado boat, so it would be great if you could come along and say hello. Please do also come along and talk to us on the day if you’d like to know more about volunteering with us – it would be great to tell you all about it.

As an independent lifeboat charity, we do all of our own fundraising to pay our running and training costs.

We’d really like to say thank you so much to Asda for their support in helping us to raise these vital funds. Thank you!

Open Day 2019 – grand total & updates!

Oyez! Oyez! This year’s Open Day on Sunday 26th May 2019 was amazing!

The total raised so far is a massive £2682.08 …

thanks to everyone who has supported us with time, prize donations & by coming along.

Yes, our day was remarkable … the sun shone (mostly), some wonderful people came along to help us on the day and many more came along to enjoy the activities and support us and other community charities who were with us on the day, Rother Respinders and Hastings Young People’s Service (shown below).




To put our massive total into context, last year we raised approximately £1600 in two hours of absolutely appalling weather.

This year however, our £2682.08 (…and counting) was raised in four hours.

As the afternoon continued, we had to bring forward our the sea display, as a bit of windy weather came rolling in … so a massive thank you to everyone who stayed to watch this despite the sea wall area becoming a bit of a cold and draughty place to stand!

Open Day, sea display, launchOpen Day, sea display, casualty retrievalOpen Day, sea display, towing & retrievalOpen Day display 2019, towing, retrievalOpen Day, sea display, towing, retrieval, sea safetyOpen Day, sea display, capsize exerciseOpen Day, sea display, back into boatOpen Day, sea display, towing, return to shoreOpen Day, sea display, return to shoreOpen Day, sea display, return to shore

After the afternoon of extra-volume announcements thanks to Mayor and Town Crier of Rye, Paul Goring, we then had the fun of the raffle drawn by John Godley, Mayor of Winchelsea.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported us.

Your support will help to keep us afloat for another year and is much appreciated.