Included in each appeal pack was a pair of cut-out RNLI liferings – one for supporters to hang on their own Christmas trees, and one for them to write a short message on and then send back to the RNLI. Over 3,000 liferings with messages on have been returned to the RNLI, with a selection of them hanging on the charity’s Christmas tree in the foyer of the RNLI College in Poole.
In fact, so many messages of support have been received that they won’t all fit on the Christmas tree. As a result, glass bowls full of messages of support are also on display next to the tree for RNLI staff, volunteers and members of the public to see.
Chris Speers, volunteer crew member at the RNLI’s Poole lifeboat station, said: ‘This Christmas, volunteer RNLI crew members will be on call ready to drop everything to help save lives at sea.
‘To see so many lovely messages of support hanging on the Christmas tree in the RNLI College is really heart-warming.
‘As a charity, we rely on the generosity of the public to support our lifesaving service and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported our Christmas appeal so far. Without this support, the RNLI simply could not reunite the thousands of people we rescue every year with their families.’
Messages received and hanging up on the RNLI Christmas tree include:
‘Such courage. Such bravery. You are the coastline’s heroes.’
‘Happy Christmas to all you brave people (and a ‘shout’ free dinner).’
‘Thank you for being there. Keep safe. Happy Christmas.’
‘We salute your bravery.’
‘Thank you for risking your lives to help save those in distress at sea.’
‘Please keep safe. God bless you all.’
‘Thank you for your courageous & totally selfless work. I know the sea can be horrific at times.’
Anyone who wants to make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas appeal can do so at RNLI.org/Xmas.
Across last year’s festive period alone*, RNLI lifeboat crews launched 122 times across the UK and Ireland, rescuing 62 people and saving five lives – with six launches taking place on Christmas day.
Notes to editors
• Dan Proctor, RNLI Marketing Manager, is available for media interviews. Please contact Luke Blissett, RNLI Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663184 or email Luke_Blissett@rnli.org.uk
• *The festive period referred to was from 23 December 2013 to 1 January 2014 for lifeboat stations in England, Wales and Ireland and to 2 January 2014 for stations in Scotland.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Luke Blissett, RNLI Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663184 or email Luke_Blissett@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email email@example.com.