Pushing the boat out for Wells Lifeboat Station

Civil Servants from across the UK have completed their goal to raise £1.1M, through The Lifeboat Fund, for a new Shannon class lifeboat at Wells-next-the-Sea Lifeboat Station in Norfolk. An extra £100,000 has also been generously given for the shore works at Wells Lifeboat Station – to house the new lifeboat.
Trustees of The Lifeboat Fund with the Local Operations Manager of Wells Lifeboat Station

Photo: RNLI

Chris Hardy, Lifeboat Operations Manager at the station, said: ‘On behalf of the crew and all the volunteers here at Wells Lifeboat Station I would like to say a very big 'thank you'. We are all delighted that The Lifeboat Fund has managed to raise this considerable sum of money for our new Shannon class lifeboat and boathouse.

‘We have enjoyed meeting some of the trustees and fundraisers during the fundraising campaign and we know how hard everyone has worked to help us to get our new lifeboat. We expect building will start on our new boathouse very soon and that our Shannon Lifeboat, Civil Service 53, will be on station by 2020.’

Fundraising activities across the two-year appeal included long distance running and cycling, bowling and golf tournaments. In late 2017 it received a legacy of £445,000 from Miss Louene Smith, that will be used to fund the shore works at Wells and help fund the Lifeboat Fund’s next appeal.

So what is the Lifeboat Fund?

The Lifeboat Fund (TLF) is an official charity of the Civil Service and it exists solely to support the RNLI. Founded in 1866 by a group of Civil Servants who wanted to donate a lifeboat to the RNLI, TLF is our longest standing corporate partner. So far, TLF has funded 53 of our lifeboats.

Other projects that TLF have funded include: the refurbishment of ‘Lifeboat Pier’, where Tower Lifeboat Station is based, and also the training of crew members at every one of our lifeboat stations.

And last year, civil servants were keen to get involved in our Mayday fundraising activities, hitting their £25,000 target by getting part in activities such as a London to Wells bike ride, Mayday walks, bake sales and a team relay challenge from London to Cardiff.

What’s next for TLF?

The focus of fundraising for TLF is now switching to education and prevention. It will be supporting our Swim Safe programme – which gives young people free outdoor swimming lessons – and our lifeguarding service.

For the first time in its history, TLF will be supporting one of our international programmes in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, to help tackle drowning through training, delivery programmes, skills sharing and equipment.