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Wells RNLI to get new lifeboat and boathouse after £1 million appeal target hit

PUBLISHED: 12:31 08 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:31 08 September 2018

Sir Mark Sedwill, chairman of The Lifeboat Fund with the Countess of Leicester. Picture: Supplied by Wells RNLI.

Sir Mark Sedwill, chairman of The Lifeboat Fund with the Countess of Leicester. Picture: Supplied by Wells RNLI.

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The Lifeboat Fund has hit its appeal target of £1.1 million to assist Wells RNLI in funding a new Shannon-class lifeboat and boathouse.

Members of Wells Lifeboat crew and guests standing in front of the station’s current all-weather lifeboat. Picture: Supplied by Wells RNLI.Members of Wells Lifeboat crew and guests standing in front of the station’s current all-weather lifeboat. Picture: Supplied by Wells RNLI.

The money generated from private donations and a public appeal which raised over £250,000 will enable crew and volunteers at Wells Lifeboat Station to begin a new chapter of lifesaving on the North Norfolk coast.

A special plaque was unveiled on Friday September 7 to recognise the achievement of completing The Lifeboat Fund target and to honour a generous legacy donation from retired civil servant Louene Smith, which also provided a further £100,000 towards the cost of building the new boathouse.

Chris Hardy, Wells RNLI volunteer lifeboat operations manager, said: “On behalf of the volunteer crew and everyone associated with the RNLI Lifeboat Station in Wells, we are deeply indebted to The Lifeboat Fund for its incredible fundraising efforts towards the cost of our new Shannon lifeboat.

“What a marvellous way this is for the fund to mark its 150th anniversary of raising money for the RNLI.

“We also acknowledge with thanks the generous legacy donation made by Louene Smith, which closed The Lifeboat Fund appeal earlier this year.

“The money will be used to fund the early shore works associated with our new boathouse build.”

The plaque unveiling ceremony was attended by RNLI volunteers, trustees and guests including chairman of The Lifeboat Fund Sir Mark Sedwill, Mayor of Wells-next-the-Sea councillor Michael Gates, and RNLI deputy fundraising director John Bines.

Sir Mark Sedwill said: “Louene Smith’s generosity in donating a £445,000 legacy, along with the valiant fundraisers of The Lifeboat Fund, have allowed us to complete the £1.1M of fundraising for the 53rd Lifeboat we have funded for the RNLI and provide a further £100,000 funding for the new boathouse that will be the home of the new Shannon-class lifeboat.”

The Lifeboat Fund is the official charity of the civil service and has supported the RNLI for over 150 years.

Building of the new boathouse for the Shannon-class lifeboat will commence later this year.

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