By Nick Pelling

On Sunday August 29th the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat charity is holding its annual Open Day. This is not only a fun day for the family but the first time the charity has been able to run this major fundraising event since May 2019. It is a life-saving charity very much in need of a monetary shot in the arm. The event takes place at Pett level beach around the boathouse and begins at 11am and finishes at 3pm. 

The day will include games for children of all ages, activities, stalls showcasing local businesses, cakes and refreshments and a tombola that offers a £5,000 Hot Tub as a prize. The draw will be made by Stuart Homewood of the Rye company Homewood Leisure, which donated the major prize. The hot tickets will be available right up until the point of the draw. 

There will also be a sea display by the Rescue crew and a chance to look in the boathouse and see the newly customised Launch and Recovery vehicle. This vital bit of kit has had a re-fit to make sure the vehicle suits the shingles and rocks of Pett Level. The cost of the adaptation was £25,000, a feat made possible largely by charitable donations. This extraordinary sum of money only serves to highlight the importance of the Open Day as a fundraiser. There will also be a performance by the local musical duo Matt and Holly.

Two other charities will be there to explain their aims and encourage would-be volunteers. The Strandliners are a group who dedicate themselves to looking after local beaches and, in particular, getting rid of plastic waste and generally helping to look after the health of the marine environment. They are keen to get more people on board. The Rother Community First Responders are dedicated to helping train people to deal with life threatening situations. They will be explaining themselves and, among other things, demonstrating the importance and use of defibrillators. 

The Chair of the charity, Kevin Nuttal, commented that the charity is “relieved to be able to run our Open Day this year as it is the biggest fundraiser we have. It is also a chance to talk to so many members of the public and explain what we do.”

The day clearly offers a good mixture of seaside frivolity and vital information, and the cause could hardly be more worthwhile. East Sussex is blessed with miles of coastline and, with the trend towards staycations, many more of us are likely to be ‘mucking about’ in the sea. But those prepared to put their lives on the line to save others in difficulty on that coastline surely deserve our support. We all know that children – and even adults – can get a little bored as the summer holidays wear on, so why not have some fun this coming bank holiday and simultaneously help to save lives?

To find out more about these three charities visit plirb.com, strandliners.org and rotherresponders.org.uk
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