Hartlepool RNLI ‘overwhelmed’ after hundreds raised in spontaneous donations from carnival spectators

Hartlepool Carnival spectators have been thanked for their spontaneous generosity.

By Pamela Bilalova
Monday, 9th August 2021, 1:09 pm
Updated Monday, 9th August 2021, 1:09 pm

Members of the public watching the procession on Saturday, August 7, left RNLI Hartlepool volunteers “overwhelmed” after raising almost £900 during an unexpected collection.

The lifeboat charity volunteers led the parade together with the local Coastguard team along Middlegate, Northgate and into Durham Street as a way to say “thank you” to their supporters.

But parade spectators, as well as carnival participants, started making unexpected donations and before long the RNLI volunteers had to use their helmets and borrow a bag from the Coastguard to keep up with the generosity of the public.

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Donations started coming in unexpectedly at the parade./Photo: Hartlepool RNLI

The contributions totalled £881 and Hartlepool RNLI lifeboats operations manager Chris Hornsey has said the volunteers were “overwhelmed” after the spontaneous fundraising.

Mr Hornsey added: “We thought it was a good opportunity to turn out and just say thank you to our supporters who have been amazing during some high profile events we were involved with in recent weeks and months when we needed their support more than ever.

“As we set off on the parade we were receiving donations from all over the place so we quickly had to use some inshore lifeboat helmets and borrowed a bag from the Coastguards to collect the donations.

“On behalf of the crew and officials at the lifeboat station can I say thank you to everyone especially 'Carnival Princess' Summer Butterfield for her donation and also the carnival organisers.”

RNLI volunteers had to use their helmets to collect the donations./Photo: Hartlepool RNLI

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Hartlepool Carnival returned to the Headland on Thursday, July 29, bringing 10 days of fun activities to the town after being cancelled in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event culminated in the grand fancy dress parade on Saturday, August 7.

Hartlepool Carnival Committee has praised carnival spectators for their generosity, describing their spontaneous fundraising effort during the parade as “marvellous”.

Hartlepool RNLI volunteers with spectators and participants during the carnival parade on Saturday./Photo: Hartlepool RNLI

A spokesperson said: “It was amazing. It was a beautiful day. The crowds were happy and the parade was full.

"We did not know they were doing it. It was marvellous."

Police, Coastguard search teams and volunteer crews with the RNLI all took part in a search operation immediately after his disappearance near Steetley Pier on July 15.

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