Hartlepool car dealer’s fundraising helps keep RNLI afloat

Hartlepool RNLI Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Solihull.
Hartlepool RNLI Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Solihull.

A Hartlepool car dealership worker is helping keep Britain’s waters safe.

Stephen Jones, who works at Evans Halshaw Citroen Hartlepool, recently handed a cheque over to the town’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution after months of fund-raising.

Stephen Jones (third from left) hands over the cheque to volunteers from Hartlepool RNLI

Stephen Jones (third from left) hands over the cheque to volunteers from Hartlepool RNLI

Stephen, sales team leader at the dealership, climbed mountains in Romania last year to raise money for the charity.

The cause is one which is particularly close to his heart.

Stephen and his father were both in the Royal Navy and have friends who volunteer for the RNLI in Hartlepool, a fact which spurred Stephen and his colleagues on to help support the cause.

Over the Christmas period, Stephen organised a barbecue and games night at the showroom to raise more money and his teammates rallied around him at a pub-sports night to increase the total.

Stephen presented a cheque for £1,600 to RNLI Hartlepool, which will make a major contribution to the team’s work keeping the waters off Hartlepool safe.

The RNLI spends its donations on equipment, training, lifeguards, and much more, keeping people safe in dangerous conditions.

Bosses at the dealership are delighted with the sum, and proud of Stephen’s dedication.

Liam Fenwick, dealer principal at Evans Halshaw Citroen Hartlepool, commented: “Everyone at Citroen Hartlepool is extremely proud of Stephen and he has raised an incredible amount for the charity.

“The RNLI does great work in the area and I’m delighted that the money will go some way to helping others who look after our local people.”

As a charity, the RNLI is entirely reliant on donations from the public to keep its fleet in the water.

Running the service cost almost £180million in 2016.

The charity operates 238 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland, and its lifeguards patrol more than 240 beaches each summer.

Volunteers launched 8,851 times around the coast of the UK and Ireland in 2016 - the busiest year for lifeboat launches since 2011 - and rescued an average of 23 people a day.

Lifeboat crews saved 431 people from life-threatening situations in 2016, while the charity’s lifeguards saved a further 127.