Everyone here at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat is pleased to say a heart-felt huge thank you to Kit and Jan McLean, of  Elm Tree Bootsale for their extremely welcome donation of £1,000 to our charity.

In this awful year, it’s been hard for us to fund raise in the community and it’s also been hard for the community to support a charity. However,  the parking fee contributed by visitors to the local Icklesham bootsale has meant life-saving support to us.

Of course, the Elm Tree bootsale itself has also been challenged by the pandemic. The prolonged lockdown and the restrictions on gatherings means that across the bootsale ‘season’ as a whole, bootsales were only able to take place 7 times at Elm Tree,  instead of the usual 14.

But as Kit and Jan are aware of our particular challenges this year, so they were keen that their annual donation to support a charity which is completely self-funded should still go ahead. 

After all, Kit and Jan have particular empathy for charities run by volunteers, where the donations are used to directly support the cause.  So, when visitors to the bootsale contribute a 50p parking fee, Kit and Jan donate this directly to local causes. As a result, across the 20+ years they have been running the Elm Tree Bootsale, Kit and Jan estimate they have raised and donated in the region of £100,000 to local charities.


“We try to do quite a bit for Five Villages Minibus, The MOPPs and the POPPs – our donation buys a Christmas dinner for local pensioners – Friends of the Conquest Hospital, Fairlight Playgroup, Rother Responders and other local charities.

We’re happy to be making this donation to support a charity like the PLIRB because it’s a local charity and it all helps local people. I was in the PLIRB crew many years ago and if we save one life, it’s worth it.”

Kit McLean

Our Treasurer, Stella Dunn, pictured with Kit and Jan McLean, said:

“We’re extremely grateful to Kit and Jan McLean for their continued support. The unexpected situation this year has caused us significant difficulties with fundraising to meet our running costs. This donation will really help to breach the real short-fall caused by not being able to hold our annual Open Day Fundraiser, due to lockdown. Specifically, this donation will be used for essential equipment repairs and replacements.

We’d also like to say thank you to the people who support the bootsale, either as a seller or a customer, as not many people realise that the parking fee at the bootsale helps to support community charities such as ours.”


As an independent charity providing rescue services, we are run solely by volunteers. 

We receive no government funding, so we have to fundraise every penny needed to buy and maintain our equipment and to pay our considerable running costs. 

Since the start of 2020, these have increased to over £10,000 a year.

If you would like to support us, your donation would really be appreciated as it will help us assist those in danger on our local coastline.

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