The RNLI can officially reveal the Shannon class lifeboat is due to arrive in Rhyl in 2019, much to the excitement of the volunteer crew. The modern, state-of-the-art lifeboat is larger, faster, more manoeuvrable and safer and therefore has the potential to save more lives off the north Wales coast.
Fundraising was kick-started last year when Brendan O’Carroll, the star of hit BBC comedy Mrs Brown’s Boys, shocked Rhyl RNLI volunteers by announcing on stage in the Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl that he would donate £10,000 towards the Shannon-class lifeboat.
Since then, the RNLI charity has been overwhelmed by the generosity of the Rhyl community who have given so generously towards the appeal which already stands at £100,000.
Deb Mahon, Community Fundraising Manager for north Wales says:
‘This really is typical of a community like Rhyl – always setting the bar high, their generosity never ceases to amaze us. To be at such a fantastic figure already is quite simply phenomenal. We now hope everyone gets behind the station to help raise the remaining total.’
The station is extremely grateful to Denbighshire County Council Chairman Cllr Pete Prendergast who has provided them with unwavering support since announcing the RNLI was the council’s charity of the year.
Cllr Prendergast says:
‘The volunteers of Rhyl RNLI do such a fantastic job serving this community, I wanted to do anything I could to support their fundraising efforts. When I heard the station had been allocated a Shannon I wrote to a number of large businesses to see if there was anything they could do to help. I was amazed when the Steve Morgan Foundation agreed to donate £55,000, what a fantastic boost to the appeal. I now hope people continue to support the appeal to show the whole of Wales what a fantastic community we have here.
A collection during Rhyl Air Show raised in excess of £3,000 over a weekend of fundraising.
Money was donated by the Lon Las Loonies, a group of cycling enthusiasts who cycled 350 miles over four days from Rhyl to Cardiff, the ‘long way down’. The cyclists raised £10,375 for the RNLI.
Local fundraising group Belief who raise money for local people and local causes, braved the icy sea by taking part in the new year’s dip at the lifeboat station raising over £1,000. The event itself raised more than £3,000.
One of the most recent donations was received from an RNLI night in the Cob and Pen pub, Rhyl on Saturday (24 February). A 70s/80s night and a raffle for a signed Manchester United Shirt raised £600 and was boosted by a £500 cheque from a member of the public.
Steve Morgan, Founder and Chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation says:
‘Much of my early work was undertaken in Denbighshire and over the last 10 years the Foundation has made an increasing commitment of funding to deserving causes across north Wales, with a particular focus on improving life chances for disabled and disadvantaged people. A high proportion of our fleet of over 65 Smiley Buses has also been donated to north Wales, providing essential transport in isolated rural areas.
‘The trustees were impressed with the energy local people have dedicated to the fund-raising appeal and recognise the huge commitment made each and every day by the volunteer crew. They have been pleased to make a substantial contribution for the new Shannon class lifeboat, which undoubtedly will save many lives.’
The new lifeboat brings 21st century technology to Denbighshire. Driven and steered by water jets instead of the conventional propellers and rudders, the Shannon can turn in her own length or stop almost instantly making going alongside a casualty to take off casualties a much safer option.
For further information, please visit: https://rnli.org/support-us/give-money/give-to-a-special-appeal/rhyl-lifeboat-appeal