Coronavirus has had a serious impact on charity fundraising. And this is particularly true for independent rescue boats.
And it’s definitely the case for an independent rescue boat local to Sean, the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat (or PLIRB to their friends)! Although this volunteer crew works alongside the RNLI and other emergency services for ‘shouts’ and search and rescue incidents, they don’t receive any government funding.
This south coast charity rescue service, staffed completely by volunteers, has maintained ‘rescue-ready services’ throughout the pandemic. In fact, they’ve been involved in several ‘shouts’ and responses to incidents of concern.
However, although on-call service has been maintained, the charity has had no income from fundraising over this period. With their usual community fundraising taking a big knock when their 2020 Open Day fundraiser and a special 50th Anniversary Celebration had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
With running cost of £10,000 a year (and rising) and no external funding apart from what they are able to raise in donations, the PLIRB charity faces real challenges when it comes to staying afloat.
And when this was mentioned to Sean, he started thinking …
“I work with two people who volunteer at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat and I know the struggle the charity has with being self-funded at such a difficult time. They're working alongside the RNLI so people think they're getting the same sort of money from the government but the truth of it is they have to raise all their own funds.
So I just thought I'd be able to help out as much as I can by taking part in the London to Brighton Cycle Ride - one of the few big charity events still taking place this year - and raise funds for the rescue boat at the same time."
FROM ONE SOS SERVICE TO ANOTHER ...
Certainly, independent rescue boats do struggle because the public generally just aren’t aware that these charities receive no central or government funding. Instead, these charities have to self-fund to maintain their services.
PLIRB is situated along a particularly hazardous part of the south coast. Often tasked by Solent Coastguard, their services include:
Rapid-response to call outs – those SOS and Mayday calls
Search and rescue support
Safe tow to water craft in difficulties
Rescue and retrieval for people and vessels in trouble
Rescue support during inland flooding
The PLIRB charity volunteers also run beach safety awareness and accident-prevention campaigns to help keep visiting members of the public and local beach-users safe.
With all this work to do, Sean’s adamant that getting on his bike to help with the fundraising won’t be the only event SOS Entertainment will be part of for PLIRB.
"The bike ride is just the first stage ... SOS Entertainment's also going to be doing a fun day (fund-day, lol) when Covid allows. We're going to be doing something down there for all the kids, bouncy castles, music ... whatever it takes to get the message out. It's just as important that others can be aware and help donate to their local independent rescue boats as well."
NOT PARTY ON, BUT PEDAL ON ...
So, with little over a month till the event on Sunday 13th September 2020, the stabilisers are off, the lycra is out and a gruelling training schedule has begun!
Want to get involved?
* Check back here for regular updates and to watch that total mount up!
* Keep up to date with the event on the SOS Facebook page - more photos on there!
* Check out the blog at https://sosentertainment.party there'll be more updates as Sean’s local charity fundraising events unfold!
If you can’t donate but want to help, that's cool too! Please get on board with sharing Sean’s page and challenge -to help raise awareness as well as funds - for the work of Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, charity number 286891.
You can find out about Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat at https://plirb.com/
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