RNLI Fundraiser

RNLI Fundraiser

As we know Facebook is an amazing platform for connecting people.  But during early July I was connected through a great supporting friend Gareth Howlett on Facebook, to a guy called Jason Parrot. Now Jason is quite different to the majority of us because he is an active member of the Ramsgate RNLI. These guys not only sacrifice their time but they put their lives on the line too, in aid of saving ours.  So, you could quite easily call them modern day heroes, knights in shining yellow if you like! Anyway, I have a story about Jason and I think you’ll like it!

When I first contacted Jason I was interested in supporting a competition he was running, I was going to donate a couple of Bungee Spongee’s for raffle prizes.  But it wasn’t until we got talking that I actually realised the huge task he had embarked on.

Jason hadn’t just organised your run of the mill competition for the lads to have a crack with, but in fact he had organised a competition involving 40 children, the RNLI, local charter skippers, local businesses including an international business and country wide businesses including Bungee Spongee. This was an idea that had been brewing up for over twenty years.

This is where I got taken in by Jason’s motivation to create, in mine and I am sure many others minds, an absolutely perfect combination for a competition. Firstly, as I said it was a children’s competition, it was to be a boat fishing competition.

The reason for this was because he wanted to get the local children involved in an outdoor activity and get them away from the computers.  Jason has his own charter boat business LADY ANN, so it fitted well.  But more importantly he wanted to take the children onto the sea to teach them about the dangers that it brings, in doing this potentially saving future lives through the field education. As soon as I found all of this out I decided straight away to sacrifice my profit and I committed to giving each child who took part a fish shaped angling version of Bungee Spongee.  I actually designed this with children in mind, so that their parents had a tool that they could persuade them with to go fishing and stay clean, because as you can imagine fishing can be a little or very smelly, and kids don’t much like that!  Hopefully it would encourage children to enter too.

This was one cause but it had to be in aid of something and of course the perfect charity being the RNLI.  This is why Jason’s combination was so genius, not only is he getting the children onto the open waters teaching them skills their ancestors would have known but have long been lost through the generations, getting them away from the computers for a day and teaching them immeasurable importance of safety out on the water. But they are doing all of this for the RNLI, the only emergency service organisation, the people who sacrifice their time and lives, the modern day knights!

This competition was so important to people from the lifeboat community and local community, also turns out national people too, that I was compelled to take an early morning drive from Southampton to Ramsgate on August the 22nd, specially to deliver my contribution. I also felt an overwhelming urge to sacrifice my time, money and day to help them make it a success. Although I hasten to add I take no credit for my part I was just doing my duty just like Jason Parrot and his RNLI family.

What an amazing day I had meeting the kind, lovely people of the Ramsgate lifeboat station, I was almost immediately taken round on a tour, I was looked after by this outstanding community all day and I was sad to leave at the end of it, but boy what an excellent experience. The children loved their fishing competition and loved their Bungee Spongee’s, they had a fabulous time. People had donated prizes sent from all over, including Scalextrics from Hornby just down the road and rods and reels from local tackle shops, in the end the prizes had come in from all over. Even one little boy from West Yorkshire managed to raise £490 which was a great contribution from a young lad, he travelled down to take part, future RNLI lifesaver maybe?  Not one child went home without winning something. It finished with a BBQ and presentation held by the RNLI guys.

It was a huge success and all thanks to Jason and his wife Dawn, these generous people pop up every now again and I want say a big THANK YOU to them for sacrificing so much for others.

Jason has inspired me to potentially turn this wonderful competition of his into a national fundraising one day event, held in some hub RNLI locations and using Jason’s fabulous model. I know I will only be able to achieve this with help from others, so watch this space and please if you are interested in helping me, let me know.  Also please check out the different links in blue to the great people and places in this blog, Thank you. 

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