VOLUNTEERS have been praised for their record-breaking efforts after raising £30,000 in just 12 months to keep a lifesaving service afloat.
The cash will go towards keeping Hartlepool’s RNLI lifeboats operating out of the Ferry Road station.
The £30,000 was the most the volunteer-run Hartlepool RNLI Enterprise Branch has raised in a year. The branch has raised £240,801 since it started in 1992.
Its efforts were boosted by the Tall Ships Races event that came to town last August and saw thousands of visitors flock to Hartlepool.
During that weekend, £7,000 was raised through stalls, raffles and tombolas. Volunteer crew members were also on hand to raise the profile of the service.The enterprise branch is made up of a dedicated team who hold summer fairs, attend charity events and raise funds from collection boxes across the town all year round.
Michael Charlton, RNLI senior community fundraising manager for the region, said: “The group in Hartlepool works so hard with incredible enthusiasm and fun. It is an incredible total that they have achieved.
“The RNLI would be lost without the support of the fundraisers and there are no better than the ones in Hartlepool.
“It is the most they have ever raised and is an incredible effort. They really pulled the stops out for the Tall Ships event and made it a big success for the RNLI, both in terms of the money that was raised and raising awareness of what we do.”
Mr Charlton said every penny raised is vital due to the high costs of running lifeboats up and down the country.
He said it costs the RNLI £138,000 every day to run all their services. But the fundraising efforts are worth it as 8,330 people were rescued by its crews in the last year, the most recorded in a year.
Mr Charlton said: “All the money we receive is vital as it is such an expensive service. But is incredibly important as more people use the country’s coast every year.
“We must also say thank you to the people of Hartlepool who have supported their lifeboats throughout the year.”
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