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Racing ahead in West Yorkshire to support RNLI Lifeguards in Bridlington

Lifeguards News Release

The Garforth Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) recently held their annual Race Night at Garforth Working Men’s Club and raised £1,335 for the charity that saves lives at sea.

RNLI/Andy Brompton

The RNLI lifeguarding team in East Yorkshire during summer 2017.

The proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to the RNLI’s fundraising appeal which hopes to raise £35,000 to fund new lifesaving kit for its lifeguards in Bridlington.

Having up-to-date rescue kit provides the charity’s lifeguards with extra peace of mind during their summer patrols. It also enables them to focus on their role of saving lives and preventing people getting into difficulty.

Christine Pitchfork, Garforth RNLI Branch Chair, explained: ‘Garforth Race Night is always a popular event within the RNLI calendar and this year the tickets sold out before they were even printed.

‘It’s a really fun evening and just like a ‘proper’ horserace but with wooden handmade horses and jockeys instead of real ones – we even have race officials!

‘Each horse is attached by string to a wooden base and ‘entrants’ compete to see who can get their horse first over the finish line. There are six races and the winning ‘jockey’ from each competes in a final, the winner of which is awarded the Garforth Gold Cup.’

The races were sponsored by local people and businesses paid to advertise in the race cards. Money was also generated through a raffle and tombola.

Christine added: ‘Garforth is a small inland branch of hard working and dedicated fundraisers. Over 80 members, supporters and friends enjoyed the evening and we’re delighted that it raised so much. The money will provide a vital boost to the Bridlington Lifeguard Appeal and I’d like to thank everyone who supported and helped out at our event.’

David Brant, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said: ‘Our charity’s lifeguards receive first-class training to ensure that they are equipped to perform anything from minor first-aids through to major rescues, but without up-to-date kit, the teams wouldn’t be able to put this training into action.

‘The money raised by the race night will provide an invaluable contribution to the appeal and will help fund new equipment. This will enable our lifeguards to continue their lifesaving work next year.’

For more information on how support the RNLI’s fundraising appeal, please visit:

RNLI Picture captions

1. The photograph shows the RNLI lifeguarding team in East Yorkshire during this year’s lifeguarding season. Credit: RNLI/Andy Brompton.

2. The photograph shows the wooden horses and jockeys. Credit: Tony Small.

Notes to editors

Examples of RNLI lifeguarding kit and costs include:

A red and yellow flag (used to indicate where it’s safe to swim) - £17

  • Binoculars - £90
  • Lifeguard full kit - £872
  • Lifeguard inshore rescue boat - £13,000.
RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer North East and East on 07824 518614 or at

Tony Small

The wooden horses in action

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland