• Equivalent of over 1,500 baths of water drunk by participants
• £400,000 set to be raised for the RNLI
After two gruelling weeks of the H2Only challenge, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is raising a glass to almost 4,500 people who have pledged to raise approximately £400,000 for the charity. Since Tuesday 27 May, people across the UK and Ireland have ‘gone H2Only’ and given up all drinks except water for two weeks to raise money for the charity that saves lives at sea.
Today the 4,357 people who took part in the H2Only challenge woke up to enjoy their first drink for two long weeks that wasn’t water. Whether they chose a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of juice, they’ve all earned it after reaching the end of the gruelling challenge. But it wasn’t just soft drinks that participants had to give up, alcohol was strictly off limits for the fortnight too.
Assuming all of the H2Only participants drank two litres of water a day during the challenge, they collectively drank a whopping 122,000 litres of water – that’s the equivalent of 1,525 bath tubs, or over 600,000 glasses of water!*
Over the past two weeks, with support and admiration from celebrities such as Ben Fogle, Simon Thomas, Monty Halls and Hannah White – the sailor, adventurer and TV presenter who actually took on the challenge herself – fundraisers have pledged to raise around £400,000 for the RNLI.
To put this into perspective, one of the charity’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboats costs £214,000; to fully kit out an all-weather lifeboat crew member it costs £1,345 and a further £1,404 per year in training; and it costs £195,000 per year to run an all-weather lifeboat station. It’s clear to see how every penny raised during the H2Only challenge will make a huge difference to help save lives at sea.
Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive, took on the H2Only challenge. He said: ‘These two weeks have been so much tougher than I was expecting. I really missed my cup of coffee in the morning and so I know how hard it has been for all those who took part and supported our charity. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of them. Every single pound raised for the RNLI makes a difference.’
The H2Only challenge has grabbed the public’s imagination, with over 8,000 people downloading the free mobile phone app and over 100,000 people watching Walter Only – the fictional character who championed the H2Only challenge – in his inspirational video that kicked off the campaign. View the video here.
Aside from the high profile fundraisers and celebrity supporters, there have been some local heroes who have taken on the challenge with a range of motivations. Many of these fundraisers have a personal connection to the RNLI;
• Kate Bindon, 28 and from Plymouth, was doing the challenge in memory of her younger brother Mike who was swept out to sea by a freak wave on a Cornish beach in January 2014 – his body was never found
• Susy Matthews from Hampshire whose grandparents, parents, brother and sister-in-law were, or still are, all involved with the RNLI
• Chiswick fundraiser Rowan Johnson, who not only has a day job with the Red Cross in London, but is also a volunteer crew member at the Chiswick lifeboat station by night
• Ryan Hanson, 19 and from Doncaster, is a teaching assistant who has enlisted the help of the school’s pupils and is taking on the challenge for a whole month
For more information on the H2Only campaign please visit www.h2only.org.uk.
Notes to editors
* Figures based on a bath with an 80 litre capacity and a glass of water with a 200ml capacity.
The four fundraisers mentioned above (Kate Bindon, Susy Matthews, Rowan Johnson and Ryan Hanson) may be available for media interviews. To request an interview, please contact RNLI PR Officer Luke Blisset on Luke_Blissett@rnli.org.uk or 01202 663184.