Hartlepool RNLI get £10,000 boost thanks to fundraisers and anonymous donation to double their total

The fundraising RNLI team pictured in Edinburgh. Picture: RNLI/Tom Collins
The fundraising RNLI team pictured in Edinburgh. Picture: RNLI/Tom Collins

A lifesaving Hartlepool charity has won a £10,000 boost thanks to six fundraising cyclists and an anonymous donor.

A sponsored three-day 210-mile cycle ride from Hartlepool to Edinburgh following the ‘Coast and Castles’ route and an anonymous donation has raised £10,000 for the Hartlepool RNLI.

Back row  from left, Tom Collins, Darren Killick, Chris Hornsey, Andy Johnston, Noel Cornforth, Tommy Price, Fiona Jagger and Steve and Mandy Bell with Andy Hogg and Wayne Platt (right) kneeling at the front. Picture: RNLI/Tom Collins

Back row from left, Tom Collins, Darren Killick, Chris Hornsey, Andy Johnston, Noel Cornforth, Tommy Price, Fiona Jagger and Steve and Mandy Bell with Andy Hogg and Wayne Platt (right) kneeling at the front. Picture: RNLI/Tom Collins

The ride saw cyclists, which included three Hartlepool RNLI crew members, Tom Collins, Andrew Johnson and Darren Killick along with fellow cyclists Steve Bell, Noel Cornforth and Wayne Platt, sleeping on lifeboat station floors at Amble and Eyemouth the six intrepid cyclists that

It took three days for the team to reach Edinburgh Castle but before heading back to Hartlepool, five of the cyclists completed a 5k Park Run.

Cyclist Steve Bell said: "The three-day journey was very demanding in parts with some of the hills pushing our fitness levels to the limit but the scenery along the route was outstanding.

"Our support team members that included my wife Mandy who drove the support van and kept us fed and watered throughout the journey and bike mechanic Tom McNamara of East Coast Cycles at Redcar were brilliant along with our good friends Fiona Jagger and Andy Hogg and without all our sponsors we couldn't have completed the ride without them.

"We even had a long distance delivery of pork pies waiting for us at Amble lifeboat station from our sponsors at The Farm Shop on Murray Street in Hartlepool.

"We also had tremendous support and donations from members of the public along the route and it was brilliant to finish in the splendid surroundings of Edinburgh Castle where tourists crowded around us to have their photographs taken with us."

Darren Killick, a crew member at the Ferry Road lifeboat station, said: "Fortunately we all trained very hard before the ride as we knew there were some difficult stages we had to tackle but overall it was a very enjoyable three days but taking part in the 5k Park Run on Saturday morning near Leith was a real test.

"Despite the team suffering a total of 12 punctures, a couple of ‘fallers’ and a few ‘near misses’ it’s certainly been a journey myself and the team will never forget and to top it all that fantastic anonymous donation of £5,000 was extremely generous.

"Most importantly we have raised some money to help save lives at sea."

Speaking after the cheque presentation that was held in the 'Fishermans Arms' at the Headland the Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboats Operations Manager Chris Hornsey said: "This is a fantastic amount of money that the team have raised from their bike ride along with the amazing very generous donation to double the amount. Well done to everyone involved.

"The money will help provide our volunteer crew members with the best kit, training and running costs at the station."