RNLI launches festive fundraiser

Sunderland RNLI volunteers Andy Glendenning and Iain Lafferty
Sunderland RNLI volunteers Andy Glendenning and Iain Lafferty
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LIFEBOAT crews are urging Wearsiders to get on board their festive fund-raiser.

The RNLI has launched a range of Christmas cards, which have gone on sale at its shop in Marine Walk, Roker, in a bid to help boost its coffers.

So far this year, the outlet has raised £5,100 towards the cost of operating two inshore lifeboats in Sunderland and for summer lifeguard services on Roker and Seaburn beaches.

Shop manager Olwyn Wilkinson said: “Each year the sale of our RNLI-themed Christmas cards and gifts provide vital funds, which allow our operational volunteers to carry out their role.

“These, alongside the shop’s range of top quality gifts, souvenirs, clothing, puzzles and postcards, are a great way to assist the crew to continue saving lives at sea.”

The shop is open seven days a week, between 10am and 4pm, until Sunday, December 16, when it will close for a winter break until Saturday, February 9.

“The shop at Roker is the retail side of fund-raising in order to maintain the excellent service the RNLI and the crews in particular give to saving lives at sea,” said Olwyn.

However, its team of volunteers are on the lookout for new members to help run the shop.

They normally work in pairs for no more than three hours at a time.

“Being a shop volunteer is a most rewarding experience,” said Olwyn.

“If anyone is able to spare the odd hour or two during the week and would be willing to come along and help in the shop, we would be delighted to see them.”

Anyone interested in joining the team should call 567 4395 or email sunderland@rnli.org.uk

Meanwhile, the Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Guild is holding a Christmas coffee morning at the RNLI Lifeguard station, in Marine Walk, Roker, on Saturday between 10.30am and noon.

A lifeboat crew will be available to answer questions and give members of the public a guided tour of the station.

On Boxing Day, fund-raisers will also hold a collection outside of the Stadium of Light ahead of Sunderland AFC’s Premier League match against Manchester City.

As a registered charity, the RNLI relies on donations and legacies from the public for its income.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho