PBO takes in charity fundraising extravaganza

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution‘s main annual fundraising drive, RNLI SOS, is taking place today, Friday 28 January.

Efforts across the UK and RoI include Thames crew members in a 768-mile cycling marathon at Kingston shopping centre, and volunteers in endurance rows, one at Gateshead today and another from Rye Harbour to Hastings and back tomorrow.

Many other entertaining events are themed around the letters ‘S O S’, including Cardiff toddlers’ ‘Sing Our Songs’, ‘Sell Our Stuff’ at Dublin, and the appealing ‘Stilton Or Shiraz’ at Carrickfergus.

Almost next door to PBO‘s office in Poole, RNLI Headquarters personnel are pulling out all the stops, with the engineering staff band serenading shoppers in the High Street, a ‘how many Smarties can you eat with chopsticks in a minute’ challenge, and a 48-hour row-a-thon inside a local supermarket foyer.

Manning the row-a-thon for the entire two-day stretch, Paul Taylor, RNLI Mechanic at Poole lifeboat station, said: ‘As part of the volunteer crew at Poole, I always look forward to SOS day. There’s so much going on and it’s brilliant to meet fundraisers and supporters alike and get involved in things like the row-a-thon. It also makes me realise what hard work it is to fundraise and I’d like to say thank you to all our tireless volunteers and supporters who give up their time to raise money – launching the lifeboats is the easy bit and we couldn’t do it without them.’

Peter Chennell, RNLI Sea Safety Manager (and PBO’s sea safety expert), added: ‘SOS day is a great way to beat the winter blues and raise money for the RNLI. As a charity with no UK Government funding, we depend on the support of the public to continue our lifesaving work, so it’s great to see so many people getting involved in different activities around the country.’

Further events are taking place in the days to come as the fundraising fun continues. Last year’s drive raised more than £500,000 for the charity.

For more information on the RNLI and what SOS day events are happening near you, visit www.rnli.org.uk/sos