Supporting the Community – Surviving Christmas Handover

Our recent spell as a collection point for Surviving Christmas has now come to an end … but we managed to achieve our aim of a brimming box of goodies!

We’ve been very pleased to see lots of visitors down at the boathouse, where we’ve been acting as a charity donation pick up point for Surviving Christmas throughout November and early December. In fact, contributions of provisions and Christmas treats continued to arrive at our boathouse right up to the point of collection by Surviving Christmas Chair, Susan Peck and volunteer Dee Wentworth . 

Susan and Dee for Surviving Christmas, pictured receiving the grovery contributions brought by well-wishers to the PLIRB boat house collection point, with Fiona (Chair), Stella (Treasurer) and Jo (Secretary) of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat committee.

Susan and Dee arrived around 11.15 on Sunday and by then, with the extra donations on the day, our provisions box was overflowing, For ease of handing it all over, the provisions were split across three hefty bags for life. Both Susan and Dee expressed how grateful everyone at Surviving Christmas is for the extra donations and would like to join us in thanking everybody who donated items.

Surviving Christmas is run by volunteers, who work to support individuals and families in need for a considerable period across the festive calendar – right through from the 16th to the 27th December. If you would like to know more about helping them, and particularly about offering your services as a volunteer, please do check the Surviving Christmas website.

Thanks again to trustees, committee, crew, visitors and friends who have contributed to make the Surviving Christmas charity donation pick up point at Pett Level such a success and we look forward to supporting the charity and the community in this way again next year.


Supporting the Community – Surviving Christmas Update

It’s time for an update on the Surviving Christmas collection point at the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat base.

The good news is that our boat house has seen quite a few extra visitors over the Sundays in November as we attempt to support a charity that does great work in the local area. We’ve been offering our services as a drop-off point for donations of provisions for Surviving Christmas and we’re glad to reveal that, as our collection is being picked up on Sunday 8th December, we’re now also going to be open for donations on Sunday 1st and up until about 10.30 on Sunday 8th December.

Helping us support a charity – and fill up our collection box!

Surviving Christmas sets out to provide festive cheer to individuals and families struggling with hardship by distributing provisions and festive fayre. There are several collection points across the local Rother area, as mentioned when we announced that the boat house was going to be a collection point throughout November. But the great news is that if you’ve been meaning to donate some provisions but haven’t had the time, then it’s still possible to do so. The success so far of our Pett base as a collection point shows that goodwill is abundant in the area and that having a closer-than-Hastings collection point is useful not only for the Pett community but also for Surviving Christmas.

Food item donations are welcome, but please remember that these need to be non-perishable and should have a Best Before date which lasts throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Types of items you might want to bring are shown on the image below which is from the Surviving Christmas website.


So just to remind you, you’ll be welcome to drop off suitable items on:

  • Sunday 1st December – from 9.00 – 12.00
  • Sunday 8th December – from 9.00 – 10.30 approx.

As the donations to us are being collected on Sunday 8th December, if any company or group would like to come down with a significant donation for Surviving Christmas, this would be most welcome on this day as we won’t have a problem storing it. It also means that you’ll have the chance for a photo opportunity with us for your social media.

It’s great to work together with the community to support a charity that works so hard in the local area over Christmas and thank you once again to everyone who has contributed to this.

Supporting the Community – Surviving Christmas Collection Point

Just a reminder that on Sunday mornings through November, the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat venue is open as a collection point for items to be donated to Surviving Christmas.

Surviving Christmas is a local charity which provides support to individuals and families in need over the winter and festive period, across our local Hastings and Rother District area.

Surviving Christmas does have collection points in the local area, but as these are mainly in Hastings and as we’re always down at the base on Sunday mornings, it makes sense to offer those who live in our area the chance to make their donations to a local collection point.

The important thing about these food item donations is that the items should be non-perishable and should of course have a long enough date that they will still be in date over the Christmas / New Year period. To help, the next image is of information from  the Surviving Christmas website, listing the kinds of provisions that would be appreciated. If you’d like to know more, there’s plenty of additional information on the charity’s website and social media.


We know there are many friends of Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat who would be happy to help make a difference to someone else’s Christmas, so we’d be grateful if you could pass the message on about our collection point?

It’s great to work together with the community on this, and we’re very grateful to be receiving donations throughout November. We’ll share the progress of the box of goodies weekly on our social media, so please follow along and stay involved. Thank you!

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!

Taking a Team Moment

A sunny Sunday morning … but it’s not just about the training.

This Sunday’s training out on the water didn’t all go as planned. It was one of those mornings when the effects of the tide and necessary maintenance and checks on boats and vehicles of course took priority! In turn, this impacts on the type of activities we carry out  during our Sunday morning sessions.

As a result, this Sunday was much more about ‘getting sorted’ vehicle-wise, boathouse-wise and preparation for the summer season with a busy beach-wise! As usual, the team all pulled together to make sure that the necessary tasks were carried out. In Sunday sessions like this, this is done in ways which still accommodate the sharing of knowledge and experience across the team. For example, full crew volunteers are particularly great at showing new volunteers how tasks are carried out safely and efficiently, whether on the boat or in the base.

A team of volunteers is still a ‘working’ team

Watching all of this take place, it’s great to see the levels of teamwork and hard work which goes into making our independent rescue service so efficient and diligent. Of course, not every team member is there every week – several of our members weren’t available this weekend – but that’s all part of what happens and it’s another way in which the overall PLIRB team has a progressive and constantly adapting dynamic.

In fact, one of the real strengths of our team is that individuals step in and out of roles as required. For instance, someone could be leading teams or sub-teams one week and being trained in a new task or activity the next. This variety is great preparation for ‘Shout’ situations, when the team at base and on the boats will rely on whatever combination of individuals (and their skills) are able to get to the boathouse quickly in time to launch.

It’s a more than a little sad for us that several of our younger volunteers (all full crew members) will be moving away after the summer. We’re glad to see them taking their next steps to progress their future careers, but they will be sorely missed. This is one of the reasons we took the opportunity to grab a quick suited-and-booted ‘some of the team’ photo, even though not all of the crew were around.

All of these younger crew members readily share that being part of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat has helped them in forging their chosen career paths. Thankfully for us,  they’ll be around for a few weeks yet and they’re keen to share their knowledge and to help other would-be volunteers to find out what it’s like to be part of our boat and base crews. So if you would like to find out more, please do come along to the boathouse from 9 a.m. any Sunday and chat to us.


A Visitor & A Big Thank You

This weekend we had a lovely visitor! Tony Heath came along to receive a big thank you from the PLIRB.

An enthusiastic sailor, Tony Heath recently retired his boat . Tony’s wife, Diana, suggested he might want to donate some of his equipment somewhere it would be appreciated and, thankfully for Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, Tony chose us. And it’s true to say that we are really feeling the benefits from his decision and from the wealth of equipment he’s donated to us, including ropes and a small Zodiac boat, complete with oars.

This Zodiac boat has especially been a great extension to our training. It’s perfect for the crew to use in rescue training scenarios. Trainees can use it to row out to sea then, once offshore, the oars are taken out of the water to simulate a ‘drifting’ vessel. Crews then practice safe rescue of this smaller-sized vessel. In fact, we carried out this type of rescue last year, in particular a group of persons drifting out to open sea from the Camber area.

At the height of the season, inflatables drifting out to sea is a common call-out for us in our efforts to keep the public safe at the beach. A ‘drifting’ Zodiac is a good approximation for an inflatable of various sizes and shapes, so it’s great to have it for additional practice.

Our eagle-eyed supporters may also have spotted that the Zodiac was used in this way for the sea display last weekend at our Open Day.

This weekend it was Tony’s turn to be part of the team, when he joined crew on our Pulfer boat for a pre-training excursion. This involved a trip along the water to Cliff End, plus some interactions with the smaller Tornado boat. Tony’s wife was also able to enjoy spending time with the base crew, watching from the Look Out area of the boathouse.

Tony Heath, equipment donation, boat visitTony Heath, equipment donation, independent rescue boat charityTony Heath, equipment donation, independent rescue boat charity

We’d like to say a very public thank you to Tony for his equipment donations. These have made a big difference to us in terms of training. By supplying equipment we might otherwise have had to pay for, Tony has also saved us a significant amount of funds. Thank you so much, Tony!