RNLI set for most successful year of fundraising following steep rise in support

Portishead Lifeboat StationPortishead Lifeboat Station
Portishead Lifeboat Station | RNLI
The charity has over 230 stations in the UK and Ireland

2021 looks set to be the best fundraising year in the history of the The Royal National Lifeboat Institute, according to the charity’s fundraising director.

The RNLI has been saving lives at sea since 1824 and has 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland.

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The crew at Portishead had an upgrade to their station in 2015 and have been called out on countless occasions to save lives off the coast of Bristol.

Over 143,000 lives have been saved by the charity since its creation.

Last year, during the ongoing deep political debate over migrants crossing the English Channel, the charity received heavy criticism last year for continuing to save those who got into trouble on their way to the UK to seek asylum.

GB News presenter Nigel Farage labelled the charity as “woke”, however this attitude towards the RNLI encouraged more people to donate towards their work, Jayne George told the Observer.

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She said: “We’ve had a better response to almost everything that we’ve done in 2021. At the end of the year, we’re going to have more members, we’re going to have more cash donors and more people who give to us via direct debit.

Migrants are helped ashore from a RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboat at a beach in Dungeness, on the south-east coast of England, on November 24, 2021, after being rescued while crossing the English ChannelMigrants are helped ashore from a RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboat at a beach in Dungeness, on the south-east coast of England, on November 24, 2021, after being rescued while crossing the English Channel
Migrants are helped ashore from a RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboat at a beach in Dungeness, on the south-east coast of England, on November 24, 2021, after being rescued while crossing the English Channel | AFP via Getty Images

“We can’t help but notice that it’s a really divisive issue that’s in the news almost daily. Whatever the negatives, the positive is that it brings out this significant reaction in terms of people wanting to support us, particularly our work in the eastern Channel.”

According to George, more people had been made aware of the charity and its work through staying at home on holiday last year.

The money is not just raised in coastal communities where RNLI stations are located, with a large amount of funds coming from in-land cities.

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She added: “In fact the majority of our most successful cohorts of fundraisers are in the major cities. We’ve got a Leeds business branch that is really successful and two committees in London that have raised significant sums of money, and also Birmingham as well,” said George.

To follow the work of the RNLI and to donate towards their cause, visit their website

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