SOS 2012

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Friday 27 Jan was the RNLI’s national SOS fundraising day. As in previous years we ran events on the day, but also were active before and after the day itself.
The aim this year is for each lifeboat station to raise enough money to supply their crew with the newly designed RNLI lifejackets. The jackets have been in joint development with Crewsaver over the last two years. RNLI lifejackets have enough buoyancy to support the crewman as well as a casualty who may not be wearing a lifejacket. The new design will give freedom of movement as well as increased safety for all shapes and sizes of crew. There has been plenty of feedback during development from the crews who will be wearing them during their tough search and rescue duties. There are two separate designs; one for the inshore lifeboat crews and the other for the all-weather crews. A new feature is to have pockets for flares, a torch, a light, gloves and casualty care kits. For the first time the lifejacket has a spray hood. The new design will be rolled out over the summer and the Dart crew should receive theirs in time for their busiest period in August.
The target is for the Dart branch to raise £1650 so that the new jackets can be supplied in time for our busiest period in the summer. Last year the fundraisers, the lifeboat crew, along with contributions from all the local schools, raised almost exactly this amount so it could be done!
Various Dart lifeboat crewmen attended Assemblies, along with Dr. John Fenton the Education volunteer, at Blackawton Primary, Stoke Fleming Primary and St John the Baptist RC Primary. The pupils dressed up as Pirates (St John’s) Sail On the Sea (Dartmouth Academy juniors) Dots and Dashes (Blackawton) or even Sporty Or Stylish at Stoke Fleming, to fit in with the SOS theme.They were joined by the pupils at St John the Evangelist Primary in Totnes and contributed £317 to the SOS appeal - enough to by one of the new life jackets. The RNLI Education team also attended Assemblies for the whole age range of Dartmouth Academy to talk about SOS day and the work of the RNLI locally. The RNLI is one of three charities chosen by Dartmouth Academy this year. The senior students dressed in Mufti and between them the students at Dartmouth Academy contributed £413 - enough for one and a quarter lifejackets.
Friday 27 Jan. Serve Our Shoppers Bag packing at Sainsburys. 10am to 2pm. Fundraising volunteers were there with crew. The shoppers were very generous and £244 was raised
Friday 27 Jan and Saturday 28 Jan. Sample Our Steaks at Ship in Dock inn. £80 was raised from the sixteen diners who took part. 
Saturday 28 Jan The lifeboat station was open 10am to 4pm. The new Souvenir Secretary, Tony Kirkland & his wife Penny opened their stall for the first time. Liz Yunnie had bulbs, donated by GardenTime, potted up and for sale and her husband John showed everyone how to look after and check their lifejackets. Sausages were Sizzelled and burgers and cakes sold well, as well as the spicy dishes. We Showed Our Cine, along with photos, helmet cam footage DVDs etc. The events at the lifeboat station raised £480
Finally, there was a Valentine’s dance at the Guildhall on Saturday 11 Feb. Just over one hundred people came to dance to Three Bags Full plus the Diamonds with Colin Leslie from Palm fm. as compere. £690 was raised from the sale of tickets, the raffle and the bar. 
Donations £150 have already been generously donated and there is hope of more to come.
In all £2620 has been raised, some £300 more than last year and there is the possibility of a further generous donation to add to that figure. That will completely cover our allocation of the new life jackets and the extra £1000 will cover the cost of one of the three new volunteers who have recently joined the lifeboat crew.
Photographs of the various SOS events this year can be found in the Photo Gallery on this site.

Posted on Wed 15 Feb 2012 by John Fenton LPO

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