PLIRB 2022 Calendar Photo Competition Fundraiser

Remember we promised that the next Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat calendar would be a little different?

Well, here’s the plan … instead of us taking our own photos for our 2022 fundraiser calendar, we’d love to invite our friends, supporters and everyone across our Sussex coastal and inland communities to submit their photos , as we launch our fabulous PLIRB Calendar 2022 photo competition!


Now, we know there are lots of beautiful local images out there because we see them on social media! Already in 2021 we’ve seen stunning snow, striking sunrises, scenic sunsets, beautiful beach shots and a magnificent Snow Moon … all taken around and about our lovely local area!

So, we’re hoping others will feel inspired to contribute photos for our competition. The  12 months of the year make it easy to find a seasonal category to suit your shot and mean we can offer 12 prizes. But hey, as we like to do things a little differently, we’re pleased to say there’s also an overall winner prize up for grabs too!

* 12 winning photos will be chosen, with each winner’s photo featuring as the month’s image in our 2022 calendar – one chosen from each category.

* Each winner will also receive two free copies of the calendar as their prize.

* One overall competition winner will be chosen and will receive a canvas print of their winning shot.

The competition runs from March 1st to September 30th 2021, but the month / category you choose doesn’t have to be the month your photo was taken – it just has to suit the season. So, if you feel your snowy shingle and sand shot taken this February is rather Christmassy, you could enter it in the December category – it’s up to you!


* You can enter up to 3 images.

* Images should be in landscape format and a minimum size / quality of 4MB please.

* The file name of the photo should include: the location of the shot, the photographer’s name; the month of the category you’re entering, eg: PettLevel_ASmith_Dec.

* Each entry should be accompanied by a donation to PLIRB, please. A minimum donation of £5 would be most welcome. Donations should be made through our dedicated calendar photo competition donation page.

* Photos of Pett Level will of course be a real focus (see what we did there?) but we also invite photos from all around our local coastal and inland rescue service vicinity. For example, views from across the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Ecclesbourne Glen, Fairlight, and Winchelsea Beach areas, plus there are stunning shots to be taken of the coastal views as seen from Icklesham, Udimore and Winchelsea.

* By entering our photo competition you are giving us permission to (a) share your entry on our website and social media (b) print your photograph in our calendar, if you are chosen as a winner.

Full terms and conditions for entering this competition are HERE.


1) Make your donation via the competition donation page (minimum £5 per entry) using the donation button. Add your name and the category (month) you’d like your photo to be considered for in the message part of the donation.  You could also add your own message if you’d like to – we love to hear from our supporters!


2) Please send an email with your photo attached to

Within the email please include:

* The category (month) you’re entering (just in case it’s missing off the file name).

* Name and contact details (including telephone number).


* The competition closes at 23:59 on Thursday 30th September 2021. After this, no more entries will be accepted and our judges will have the difficult task of choosing the winning photos.

* The winners will be announced in October 2021 (date to be confirmed once judges have been confirmed).

* Calendars will be printed and available from November 2021. Winners will be invited to visit our boathouse to receive their copies of the calendar as soon as these are available.


Sorry, but there has to be a little small print

Our work isn’t just about saving lives, it’s also about prevention and raising awareness about general and local beach safety. As such, we really want to be able to share local photographs. So, please understand that by entering this competition you’re giving us permission to share your photo online. Full credit will be given (unless you ask to be kept anonymous of course) and the copyright remains with you.

Our charity is all about saving lives and keeping our beaches and coastal areas safe from hazards and danger. It’s fair to say that once the third lockdown hit, meeting our £10,000 a year running costs has become a significant challenge – with our income from fundraising down 95% compared to 2019.

By submitting your photos and supporting our competition, you will literally be helping our charity to stay afloat and #rescueready so that we can continue saving lives at sea.


Our 2021 Charity Raffle is Afloat – Thanks to Homewood Leisure

 With the pandemic continuing to keep our fundraising closed down, our volunteers are working hard to keep our self-funded charity afloat. And it’s fair to say that at times like this, help from the community and local businesses to meet our £10k a year running costs is much appreciated.

Which is why we’re very pleased to share that a local company, Homewood Leisure, have made us a very generous prize donation to enable us to run a fundraiser raffle for the first half of 2021.

Stuart Homewood, pictured with the Tonga Hot Tub and PLIRB volunteer, Tornado Helm Sarah Harris.

 Homewood Leisure is a Rye-based company, specialising in hot tubs, swimming pools and spas. After reading about our fundraising problems in the Rye News, owner Stuart Homewood decided to help with the launch of a special single-prize charity raffle fundraiser and has donated the star prize of a family-sized hot tub. We shared this wonderful news with Rye News just before Christmas and are now pleased to fill in some of the details here …

As cousin of one of our volunteers, Tornado Helm Sarah Harris, Stuart already has an interest in our charity. He also has a fishing boat down at Pett Level. Stuart’s also a member of the Hastings Winkle Club and as such he’s become very aware of the problems faced by local charities as a result of the pandemic.

“I was reading that it costs around £10,000 a year to fund the rescue boat so I thought, why not pop one of these out there?

It’s a £5,000 model so if we can sell enough tickets we could raise £10k, keep the boat funded for a year and give our support locally.”

Stuart Homewood, Homewood Leisure

Hot tub charity raffle details

* PRIZE HOT TUB * This amazing prize is a family-sized Tonga, 200cm x 200cm x 89cm, with electronics, cover, cover lifter, steps and chemical starter kit. This popular model usually retails at £4,999.00.

* PRIZE EXTRAS * Delivery and installation usually cost £250 each. However, if the prize winner lives within 20 miles of the Homewood Leisure retail space just outside Rye, delivery and installation could be included with the prize. This offer is subject to a site survey which would need to confirm a straightforward delivery and installation process. More complex deliveries, involving a hiab or other crane unit, would be subject to additional costs.

* TICKETS * Tickets cost just £2.50 each. They have been printed in books of 4 and can be sold in any combination. 1000 books have been printed, with the overall goal in mind of selling 4,000 tickets to help Stuart meet his aim of keeping our rescue boat afloat with a whole year of costs covered!

* TICKET SALES *Although the exciting plan for this raffle includes launching the raffle and selling raffle tickets from the PLIRB boathouse and from Homewood Leisure, the new year lockdown has of course made this impossible for the time being. However, in the meantime, a couple of essential local shops which are still open have offered to sell tickets for us. These are:

  • Fairlight Post Office & Stores
  • The Old Butcher’s Shop – Pett

* VOLUNTEERS * Tickets can also be obtained from our volunteers, so if you know a volunteer please ask!

* HOMEWOOD LEISURE * Tickets can also be obtained from Homewood Leisure – look out for them on social media!

* ONLINE TICKET SALES * To get things started in a safe way, we’ve set up an online system for ticket sales, using Give As You Live. Please visit the dedicated ticket sales / donation page for more information on how to buy your raffle tickets online.

The Grand Plan for the CHARITY RAFFLE Draw

The original grand plan was to draw this raffle at our Open Day in May. However, as a result of the prolonged New Year lockdown, the May date has been cancelled.

Instead, the draw will take place on Sunday 29th August 2021, the provisional date for a rescheduled open day.

If an outside gathering of an Open day is not allowed in August, Stuart will instead visit our boathouse on Sunday 29th August and make a socially distanced draw to find the lucky winner of this amazing prize, which we will Live Stream direct on social media.

Everyone involved with our charity is completely bowled over by Stuart’s generosity and would like to say a very big thank you to Stuart, as our charity’s Chair, Kev, explains:

“Along with lots of other charities this year, we’re struggling to raise funds to cover our operational costs.

This amazing prize donation has potential not only to raise the money we desperately need, but also to raise awareness of our charity’s work and of the costs involved in providing these life saving services.”

Kev Nuttall, PLIRB Charity Committee Chairperson

Would you like to help us with this very special charity raffle?

If any local retailers, companies, venues and social groups would like to sell tickets on our behalf, this would be very welcome.

Please email PLIRB fundraising volunteers at

Or, message us via any of our social media platforms to express an interest.

If you’d like to help by sharing – please download the featured image at the top of this post and share on social media!

Thank you so much!

Support Our Charity with a Movement for Good Nomination?

Lockdown or not, we’re moving to that time of year again! It’s no secret that this year has been a real struggle for everyone and, as a self-funded charity, we’re definitely facing a challenge when it comes to staying afloat.

But if our friends and supporters don’t mind, there’s an easy way to help us with a little christmas giving that won’t cost you a penny …

christmas giving, launch

How to help us with charity nominations

Ecclesiastical’s Movement for Good 12 days of Giving awards are now open for nominations. Like the scheme Ecclesiastical ran back in May, charity nominations are now being invited. Each nomination is entered into a Christmas Giving draw, with every charity having the chance to win £1,000.

As a registered UK charity, we’re eligible to be in the draw … so here’s our request. Please could our friends and supporters nominate us for the 12 Days of Giving opportunity? In the spirit of having to be in it to win it, it’s literally the case that the more nominations our charity receives, the better our chance of being selected to win one of the £1,000 awards.

It’s quick and easy to nominate Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat online. The set up this time around means that typing our full name into the search bar and clicking search should bring us up as an option to click, along with our charity number 286891.

Nominations are already open and can be placed online at Votes can be made until Monday 21st December 2020. The 12 Days comes into play for an exciting round of random daily draws from December 7th to 22nd, when 10 deserving charities a day could each win £1,000.

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Please support our community charity

As our friends know, we’ve remained rescue-ready throughout the pandemic, and across both lockdowns. All of our planned fundraising activities for 2020 have not been able to take place, so our income is significantly down whilst our costs have been rising.

Our financial year ends on 31st December 2020, so the Movement for Good draws taking place across December means the chance of winning £1,000 before the year end would help breach the worrying gap between our income and our outgoings in 2020.

Mark Hews, Group CEO of Ecclesiastical, says:

“As a commercial company with a charitable purpose, giving back is at the heart of our business. Our annual 12 Days of Giving Christmas campaign will help charities change lives for the better and we know that for many charities, £1,000 can make a real different. We’re encouraging everyone to nominate a cause close to their hearts this Christmas, to be in with the chance to win a festive financial boost.”

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Costs for maintenance and equipment continue even though income is low … 

a broken winch here, fuel pump there, it all adds up and any support for our running costs is always appreciated.

So, if you like what we do and are able to take a moment to nominate us over at Movement for Good (ensuring our charity number 286891 shows) we would really appreciate it. To be honest, it would make a huge 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 when the draws start taking place next month, and of course we also look forward to seeing everyone properly again soon too! In the meantime, #staysafe and #beachaware out there.

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Sean Cycles 54 Miles to Support Our Charity

We’re very pleased to share that friend of the PLIRB, Sean O’Sullivan has successfully completed his solo 54-mile charity bike ride to support our charity.

As we previously shared, Sean of SOS Entertainment, originally planned to cycle on behalf of our charity in the 2020 London to Brighton bike ride. But after that event was cancelled, with a few sponsors already behind him, Sean organised his own date and route and got on his bike to fulfil his offer of charity support anyway!

Unfortunately for Sean, he couldn’t have picked a worse weather day when it comes to wind! With much of the south coast experiencing very strong winds, Sean found himself cycling into a strong headwind for almost all of his 54-mile route.

Sean, having final bike checks at Rye Bay Ebikes, just before setting off from Rye Harbour.

Thanks to Rye Bay Ebikes for joining in and for sponsoring Sean for this challenge.

Sean battled against that strong headwind right from the start, which made even the early stages of the journey exhausting. By the half way stage, when Sean reached Dungeness, the wind was taking its toll … but Sean remained good humoured as he stopped for a short check-in with safety support, Bob Cheeseman.

Video courtesy of Bob Cheeseman and Sean O’Sullivan

So by the time Sean had cycled on through Camber and Rye, the wind wasn’t Sean’s only problem. The exhaustive cycling against the wind took a real toll on Sean’s legs, causing a significant struggle as he had to work twice as hard as usual to get anywhere.

By that final stretch, along the main Sea Road that runs between Winchelsea Beach and our Pett Level boathouse, Sean wasn’t just pushing against the wind, but also the effects of the effort of cycling against it – real muscle burn to the legs.

“It was a lot tougher than I thought, and that’s purely due to the wind,” Sean said afterwards. “I regularly ride 30 miles or more and the 54 miles wouldn’t have been a problem if it wasn’t for that wind – I literally had it against me all the way round! It felt like it doubled the distance with the strain and effort it took.”

Charity support – it works both ways


Sean says that what made a real difference to him at this point, was knowing that his challenge (and pain) was for our charity. That, and the knowledge that some of our volunteers had opened up the boathouse and that we (and a cup of tea!) were in phone contact with his support throughout and were following his progress as we waited to greet him.

So somehow, Sean rallied for that last long stretch of relentless wind along the Sea Road, to arrive at our boathouse an amazing 5 1/2 hours and 54 miles after setting out. This moment was captured by crew member, Martin and sincerely appreciated by Sean …

“I’m so glad I did it because I was well supported. The way the PLIRB volunteers thanked me when I got back … I couldn’t get over it! There were people out by the road clapping and applauding as I came through, that was great.”

Of course, with social distancing in mind, although we can gather in the course of our volunteer work, we did limit numbers on the day, which meant that quite literally, we weren’t able to thank Sean enough for his huge endeavours on our behalf. So we’ve invited Sean back to the boathouse for a proper thank you visit, once restrictions are lifted.

And in the meantime, between online donations via Sean’s giving page, through our website, and cash donations on the day, Sean’s amazing charity support with his solo cycle ride has raised around £600. The PLIRB committee is delighted with this, as Chair Kev explains:

“All the volunteers here are very grateful to Sean for raising so much to help Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat at this difficult time. We’d also like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated online and in cash to support Sean’s amazing effort.”

Everyone at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat would like to say a huge thank you to Sean for this absolutely superb endeavour to support our charity. We really do appreciate his help with the fundraising. We’re also in awe of the time and effort Sean gave up to cycle his gruelling 54 mile route to raise funds for us. Thanks so much to Sean and everyone who helped or donated for this fundraiser.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might like to look at Sean’s own blog post on this fundraiser, as it has more videos of his progress throughout the challenge!

Whilst you’re here …

As an independent rescue service, we are run by volunteers and fundraise to buy all of our own equipment and to pay our considerable running costs. Since the pandemic began, these costs have risen to over £10,000 a year.

If you like the work we do and would like to support us, your donation would really be appreciated and would, ultimately, help us to help those in danger on our local coastline.

Thank you so much, from the volunteers at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.

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!