Ilfracombe lifeboat smashes appeal target

After just two months Ilfracombe raises more than �9,000 as it meets its quota for the South West Lifejackets for Lifesavers Appeal.

BUOYANT volunteers at Ilfracombe RNLI are celebrating after blitzing their Lifejackets for Lifesavers appeal target in just eight weeks.

As part of the new South West wide campaign to buy crew members at all 35 stations in the region new lifejackets, Ilfracombe was given a target of �9,000 and has now raised �9,400.

As soon as the appeal was announced in the autumn, the community responded with a range of events and donations, including a tremendous start as North Devon VW Club donated �2,000 raised during its Final Fling event at Little Roadway Farm in October.

The annual Ilfracombe RNLI Christmas Fayre raised another �1,100 and donations came from St Nicholas Chapel and Ilfracombe Golf Course. Wilsons Newsagents donated �500 and The George and Dragon has pledged �400.

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The Barnstaple RNLI branch raised more than �2,500 following a black tie event at Barnstaple Hotel and this is to be split equally between the campaigns for Ilfracombe and Appledore.

One donation in particular was tinged with sadness. The family of West Midlands teenager James Lowe gave �1,200 raised in memory of the 15-year-old after he tragically died from heart failure following a collapse on Croyde beach.

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Despite desperate attempts by locals and RNLI lifeguards James could not be saved but his family were impressed by the RNLI and wanted the charity to benefit from money raised in honour of James.

Numerous individual donations helped to swell the Ilfracombe appeal fund and the target was reached following a �2,084 collection outside Ilfracombe and Braunton Tesco stores just before Christmas.

“When we first received our target amount at the end of October, we all felt that the amount was achievable, but we never thought in our wildest dreams that it could be achieved within eight weeks,” said branch chairman, Tony Gillam.

“Local residents, community groups and businesses were all eager to support a truly local campaign and we would like to thank them for all of their support. We would also like to pay tribute to the hard work of all of the volunteers who have assisted with fundraising.”

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