Christmas Card sales off to a flying start
Sales of RNLI Christmas cards, calendars and diaries bring in valuable funds for the lifeboats and help raise the RNLI's profile too. We started on 5th October at the railway station, selling £45 worth, and then had an excellent 2-day sale at Park Farm shopping centre on 13th and 14th October, selling £654 worth!  Donations of £51 at the station and £173 at Park Farm made these events even more worthwhile.  Our thanks to all our volunteers for helping with these.  Pictured above at Park Farm are Chris Tucker, Pauline Vernon and Ron Payne (left) and Martin Wyatt and Mike Grove (right).

Gardens grow the funds
Two of our local garden centres welcomed our collectors recently.  Swarkestone Garden Centre on Sunday 3rd September produced £179.15, while at the Wyevale Garden Centre at Findern on Sunday 17th September we collected £235.37.  Two good results, and both totals were up on last year.  Out thanks to the centres' managers and our volunteer collectors for making this possible.

Every little helps - quite a lot!

We were pleased to have the opportunity to collect at Tesco in Mickleover on Friday 11th August, and even more pleased to find that the total came to £604.11.  Well done to our volunteer collectors, and thanks to Tesco for making us welcome and to their customers for such generous support.

More great support from the Park Farm shoppers

The shoppers at the Park Farm shopping centre have always supported us very generously when we've collected there, and the total of £672.55 for Friday 7th and Saturday 8th July was another brilliant result.  Thank you again, Allestree!  This takes the branch's total for the year so far to £6,718.53.

Findern gets the message!

Branch Secretary Martin Wyatt (pictured above left) has recently moved to Findern, and has wasted no time in getting involved in village activities. On 24th June he set up a stand at the village fete to raise some funds, and also to promote the RNLI's 'Respect the Water' sea safety message. Pete Barnard MBE (RNLI Coastal Safety Officer) and his wife Kate joined Martin and gave Sea Safety material to over 100 people.  They went away with £11.25 in their donations bucket, while Martin sold £112 worth of RNLI souvenirs and collected £31.29 in donations.

Flag Day total up again

Our annual city centre Flag Day collection on Saturday 3rd June brought in the splendid total of £1,331.70 – a little bit more than last year, continuing the welcome recent trend.  Our star collector was also our eldest – Wally Watson, who managed to get over £100 in his little cardboard boat!  We thank him and all our other volunteers for their very productive efforts.
And with our recent day at Tesco Metro on Friday 29th May producing £201.08, we have now banked over £5,400 already this year.

MayDay starts in April!

Our MayDay effort this year began a little bit early, with a stall at Derby Railway Station on 30th April.  We were very happy to have collected £335, and sales of £53.50 made the event even more worthwhile. 

Pictured below are (left) Sue Stanier and Jean Dobson and (right) Will Stanier with Mary Inglis, Customer Welcome Host for East Midlands Trains.

An April shower - of cash!

The second weekend of April was a busy one for our collectors, as we had been invited by Sainsbury's to collect at their two busiest stores in Derby.  On Saturday 8th we were at the Wyvern store and £762.08 was the excellent result - top marks to Martin Wyatt who somehow managed to bring in £148.77 in his two-hour stint! On the Sunday our hosts were the Osmaston Park Road store, and we added another £440.67 in just six hours, bringing the weekend's haul to just over £1,200. Our thanks to Sainsbury's for making us welcome, to their staff and customers, and of course our volunteer collectors. 

Pictured below (left) are Richard and Jean Dobson ready to start their spell.

Terry Smith (pictured above right) is a former member of our Branch committee who has been fund-raising for charity for well over thirty years. He decided that his swansong would be on Sunday 2nd April, when he undertook a sponsored walk of 8.2 miles (round trip) along the canal path between the Ferrers Arms at Sinfin and the Dragon at Willington. His aim was to raise funds for the RNLI Skegness Lifeboat, and when he visits them in June he will be able to tell them that he raised £311 (including Gift Aid) from his generous sponsors. Well done, Terry, and thanks!
The results are now in...

Our last collection for 2016 was at Derby Railway Station on 3rd December, and the very pleasing result of £273.80 exceeded our expectations. That takes our total for the year to £14,376.50, including £967.79 profit from Christmas card sales.  Needless to say, we're well pleased with that - but maybe with your help we can do even better in 2017?

Local anglers land a 250-pounder!

The Derbyshire Angling Federation are regular supporters of the Branch, and make an annual donation from the proceeds of the Les Rees Memorial Trophy match day.  Les was Chairman of the DAF club and also loved the Lifeboats. This match is now a regular event in his memory and all proceeds go to the Lifeboats.  Branch Treasurer Judy Jones was invited to receive the cheque from Les's widow Brenda at a presentation evening at the Bridge Inn in Duffield.  More power to your rods, gentlemen, and thanks for your support!

Spectacular support!

Some in our local area will know of Richard Petrie Optometrists in LIttleover.  Richard Petrie has been offering optometry services to Derby residents, and many from further afield, from his practice on Burton Road in Littleover for 38 years. After a professional career spanning a total of 45 years, Richard has now retired from optometry – though the practice continues under the ownership and leadership of Davina Dosanjh.

Richard wanted to mark his last day of testing in a special way. So, for his last testing session, he sent special invitations to some of his long-standing patients to have a last eye examination with him. All of Richard’s fees from the day were donated to charities closest to his heart. As he’s a keen sailor, the RNLI was one of those chosen charities.  As a result of Richard’s initiative a magnificent total of £400 was raised for the RNLI.  Branch Chairman, Will Stanier was delighted to accept a cheque for this amount at a presentation ceremony held, at the practice, in November. Will was able to wish Richard - whom he has known for many of those years - well for his retirement and thanked him, Davina and colleagues from the practice for their generosity and that of their clients. Will was able to inform all those attending the presentation of how this significant donation would go towards supporting the continuing work of the RNLI as a 24/7, 365 day a year emergency response service which is dedicated to saving lives at sea and, increasingly, inland at times of severe flooding, through its Lifeboats and volunteer crews, Lifeguards and specially trained Flood Rescue Teams.

We repeat our thanks to Richard Petrie Optometrists Ltd and all their clients.

Just as we were about to start our November committee meeting at the Exeter Arms, we had the pleasure of being introduced to Jack Lowe, the instigator of the hugely ambitious and challenging ‘Lifeboat Station Project’. He was in Derby to give a talk to photography students at the University of Derby.

The ‘Lifeboat Station Project’ is a unique and most prestigious body of work, undertaken solely by Jack. By visiting all 237 RNLI Lifeboat Stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland, Jack is creating, over a five year period finishing in 2020, an unprecedented photographic documentation of the presence of the RNLI and its volunteers around the coast of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, nearly 200 years on from the time the RNLI came into being. 

Branch Chairman, Will Stanier, was delighted to attend Jack’s talk to the students at which Jack gave details of how he is travelling to all the Lifeboat Stations in his mobile darkroom, a decommissioned NHS ambulance he’s named “Neena”. Jack explained how he is using an historic process, just as the Victorians used between the 1850s and 1880s, known as Wet Plate Collodion, from which he is crafting unique photographs on 12”x10” glass, capturing the view from each Lifeboat Station and the waters protected by the RNLI crews. As well as the view Jack’s taken from each station, he is also making two further photographs: a portrait of each Coxswain or Senior Helm and a group portrait of the crew. 

So far, to November 2016, Jack is 30% through the task of visiting each Lifeboat Station and it is his ultimate vision is to have photographs from the glass plates showcased in a stunning exhibition, arranged in geographical order around a huge gallery. He believes that as the audience stands in the middle of the venue and looks around, the sensation of seeing the entire coastline of the British Isles, as captured on glass, will be extraordinary. 

In addition to future exhibitions a book, documenting the project and the results, is set to be produced. So, both the exhibition of the work and the book are set to be huge fundraisers for the RNLI. 

Jack took a photo of the City of Derby committee too, but not with the 111-year old camera – he used his mobile phone.  You might see that on his Facebook page. 

We wish Jack safe travels as he continues with this extraordinary project and look forward to further updates regarding plans for eventual exhibition(s) and book publication.

For more details and progress of the project, and to see some of the stunning photographs so far produced, go to the project’s website:  

Christmas sales success

Our sales of Christmas cards, calendars and diaries have been pretty successful this autumn.  On 14th and 15th October we had our usual sale at Park Farm Shopping Centre at Allestree, where we always get generous support; this year we sold £584 worth of cards and calendars, and we had donations of £207 too.  We had another good day at Derby Bus Station on 29th October, selling £224 worth of cards and calendars and receiving donations of over £107.  All in all, we've sold over £1,200 worth of seasonal goods, a great effort.

We began the card sales, though, by taking a stall at Derby Railway Station during East Midlands Trains' Customer Care Week.  Our thanks to Paul Mobbs (their Customer Experience Manager) and Dan Robson, Derby Station Manager for inviting us to attend, and to EMT customers and to all EMT staff who made us very welcome.  We sold £120 worth of cards and collected £82.50 in donations over the two days we were there.

Betty moves to Poole, and is honoured by the RNLI

Our former Treasurer, Betty Mitchell, has now moved from the area to be closer to her family, and is now also closer to RNLI headquarters at Poole.  For her long service with the Branch, Betty has been awarded the RNLI's Gold Badge, and it was presented to her at HQ by Paul Boissier, the Chief Executive.  Will and Sue Stanier from the City of Derby Branch joined Betty's friends and family at what was a delightfully personal ceremony, with a lovely tea and a visit to the new lifeboat buidling facility and the College.

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside...

...but on Sunday 28th August the seaside came to us!  The Mickleover-on-Sea event brought some seaside-style fun in the village centre, and we were too, to promote the RNLI's Respect the Water sea safety campaign.  We brought in some welcome donations too (£145), and sold £80 worth of lifeboat souvenirs.

Amazing Argosy

Our Treasurer, Judy Jones, is getting used to finding amazing sums of money in our collecting box at the "Sizzling" Argosy pub on Manor Road, but on her latest visit she was given £300 in addition to the astonishing £304 in the collecting box!  The Argosy prides itself on the fundraising it does for local charities, and rightly so.

Make a free website with Yola