Messages aid lifeboat

Stuart Tibett, RNLI Second Coxswain, watches Joan Stephenson of Eastfield Garden Centre place the first message on the tree.
Stuart Tibett, RNLI Second Coxswain, watches Joan Stephenson of Eastfield Garden Centre place the first message on the tree.

A BRIDLINGTON garden centre hopes its Christmas message idea will raise cash to help keep the town’s lifeboat afloat.

Eastfield Garden Centre on Easton Road has just launched a festive fundraising idea in aid of Bridlington RNLI

Visitors are being invited to pay a £1 donation to write a festive message on greetings cards which are then attached to baubles decorating the large Christmas tree in the centre.

Joan Stephenson, of Eastfield Garden Centre, said: “We were surprised to hear that the RNLI receive no funding from the government.

“We hope that our customers will rally round and help to fill the tree with messages.

“These could be anything from festive greetings through to people’s hopes for the coming year.”

Andy Brompton, Deputy Launch Authority for Bridlington RNLI, said: “The RNLI relies entirely on fund raising and donations and we need to raise thousands of pounds each year for fuel, crew training and the general upkeep of the lifeboats and station.

“Just one launch of the lifeboat costs several thousand pounds and so far this year we have had 40 launches and have gone to the assistance of 34 people.”

“We have an all-weather and inshore lifeboat and our costs are rising all the time so it’s vital that we have the continued support of the public and businesses.

“We hope that other businesses in the area will follow Eastfield Garden Centre’s example,” he added.

In Bridlington the RNLI has 28 volunteer workers, including a core of 19 people who make themselves available to crew the two lifeboats in all weather conditions.