Lifeboat crews left £50,000 in RNLI supporter’s will

Members of the RNLI accept a donation of �40,000 from supporters, Simon and Christine Walker.
Members of the RNLI accept a donation of �40,000 from supporters, Simon and Christine Walker.
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A £50,000 donation in memory of a dedicated RNLI fundraiser will be used to pay for new crew equipment and training.

The money was donated in honour of the late Eileen Walker, from Sunderland, who spent years supporting the charity.

It will be used to pay for crew equipment, training, lifeboat maintenance and general station running costs next year.

Paul Nicholson, senior helmsman with Sunderland RNLI, said he was “proud” to receive the donation.

“We are extremely pleased and proud to receive this fantastic donation in memory of Eileen Walker, who did a lot of fantastic work for the RNLI during her life,” he said.

The Wearside branch of the RNLI currently has 23 operational volunteers, who all require training and equipment to allow them to carry out their duties safely and efficiently.

Last year, the station was the charity’s eight busiest in the country, launching 111 times to help people in distress.

Paul said on average less than 10 per cent of volunteers have a professional maritime background, so training needs to cover all aspects of operation, ranging from basics to the more advanced search and rescue skills.

“Donations like this are vital to allowing the RNLI to provide us with the best equipment and training,” said Paul.

The £50,000 donation also includes a £10,000 Gift Aid, which allows charities or community amateur sports clubs to increase the value of gifts from UK taxpayers by claiming back the basic rate tax paid by the donor on the donation.

It can increase the value of donations by a quarter at no extra cost to the donor.

Gift Aid is worth nearly £1 billion a year to charities and their donors.

“This donation also highlights the importance of the government Gift Aid scheme, which allows charities such as the RNLI to claim back an element of the tax paid a donor has already paid on the donation,” added Paul.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho