Tidy result from untidy dressing!

Staff at CrossCountry Trains' Birmingham headquarters have dress-down days from time to time to raise money for charities, and this year they chose the RNLI as the beneficiary, encouraged by Ian Beacock, a member of our Branch committee and a CrossCountry employee.  The result was that we received the tidy sum of £138.48.  We have now banked nearly £6,000 this year!

Grace and favour
The Derby based Open Road Productions theatre company have created and presented a brand new musical entitled “Grace – The Lighthouse Girl” which was seen by appreciative audiences over six performances at the Derby Guildhall Theatre in late June. With songs and music by Phil Baggaley and a script by William Varnum, the musical brought to life the remarkable and moving story of Grace Darling, telling of how this young woman, from a small lighthouse island off the Northumberland coast, was catapulted to fame after being involved in a brave rescue at sea. Those within Open Road Productions wanted the RNLI to benefit from this production and the City of Derby Branch is especially appreciative, therefore, to receive a magnificent £210 resulting from a mix of proceeds from the sale of programmes and additional donations received from those who attended the shows. Our thanks to all. It is also good to report that representatives from The Grace Darling Museum, based in Bamburgh, also attended one of the performances and were very impressed by Open Road Productions’ telling of Grace’s story.  

Another great Park Farm result

We always seem to do well when we collect or sell goods at the Park Farm shopping centre in Allestree, and this July's two-day collection more than lived up to our expectations.

Friday's total was a very pleasing £272.17, while the busier Saturday produced £437.40 - a total of £709.57 overall.  Thanks to all our volunteers and to the Park Farm management - and of course to the shoppers for their generosity and friendliness.

Pictured left are Jean Large and Sue Whightman, who were part of our Friday crew.  

This brilliant result takes our total for the year so far to over £5,300!
Feted at Findern
Findern Fete was a new event for us last year, and very successful, not least in terms of spreading the RNLI's 'Respect the Water' sea safety messages.  So we were happy to have the opportunity to attend again this year on 30th June - thankfully in a shady spot in the corner of the village green!
Souvenir sales of over £96 and a £30 profit from the raffle for a bottle of whisky (kindly donated by Harpur's Coaches), plus other sales and donations, gave us a total of over £152 for the day.  The draw for the raffle was done by Murphy, the little dog in the inset photo!

Tesco comes up trumps again

We were very pleased to be invited to collect at Tesco in Mickleover on Friday 22nd June, and to come away with £730.09 for the Lifeboats, well up on last year's £604.  Our thanks to Tesco for their hospitality, and to our volunteer collectors - including Harry, Martin and Alec, pictured here.

When we reported this result to the RNLI Regional Office, they were highly impressed - this is way above average for a one-day store collection!  
Flag Day exceeds expectations
Our City Centre 'Flag Day' is our main collecting opportunity each year, and 2018's effort took place on 2nd June. To our delight (and surprise) we again beat the previous year's total by collecting £1,432.73. Thanks to everyone who contributed and, of course, to our volunteer collectors, some of whom are pictured above, including (centre) our most senior helper Wally Watson and (right) Gill Clay with her new best friend Zog. Gill put this photo on her social media and it inspired some of her friends to send in more donations!  Not quite sure what Peppa Pig was up to, though...

MayDay starts in April
Like last year, we began our "MayDay" effort at the end of April, with a collection and a sale of "yellow wellie" goods at Derby Railway Station, thanks to East Midlands Trains.  Reduced train services due to engineering work meant the station was a bit quiet, and our collection of £231.64 was down on last year's exceptional total. However, sales of £59.45 made the effort even more worthwhile.

New blood on the Committee
We are very pleased to have welcomed two new members to the Branch Committee at the AGM on 3rd April, when two of our keen supporters, Chris Tucker and Mandy Harris, put themselves forward and were unanimously voted in. Their enthusiasm and ideas will be an asset to us, without a doubt.

2018's effort gets off to a good start
We began our 2018 fund-raising on Saturday 20th January at the Tesco Metro store in Derby city centre, and banked £190.20.  That's a little bit down on last year, but it gets us under way.  Our thanks to Tesco for this opportunity.
With some other generous donations being received too, we had already banked £930.95 by the end of January – normally a quiet month for us – so we were pleased to have started the year well.  Things have been quieter since then, but our total so far had reached £1,259.63 at the end of March.

Farewell to Betty
We were sorry to hear that Betty Mitchell, who until recently was our Branch Treasurer, passed away at the age of 93. Betty had been a key member of our Branch Committee for many years, and her late husband Alan was also a valuable supporter.  Betty moved to Poole to be near her family a couple of years ago, and shortly afterwards was presented with the RNLI's Gold Badge in recognition of her efforts.  Some of her friends on the committee were pleased to be able to visit her recently, and she will be missed. Our condolences to her family.
Branch Treasurer Judy Jones represented the branch at Betty's funeral, and RNLI HQ were also represented.  Betty's coffin was draped with an RNLI flag provided by HQ, and we understand this is an honour very rarely given to anyone other than lifeboat crew members, so it is clear that her contribution to the Lifeboat service over many years was recognised.

2017 total now finalised
We have now been advised that our sales of Christmas cards, calendars and diaries (£1,820.25 in total) produced a profit of £1,073.95, which has been credited to the Branch, taking our 2017 total to a very pleasing £14,837.91.  Well done to everyone who contributed in any way!

Unite behind the Lifeboats!
In 2016 we were very pleased to receive a donation of £200 from the Derby Retired Members Branch of the Unite union, thanks to Alf Wall, a member of their Branch and of our committee.  Now we have been given a further £600, following the winding up of the Branch.  There are many ways they might have used their funds, but they chose the Lifeboats to receive this, and we are grateful to them for their support.
More reasons to be pleased
Morrisons store in Belper kindly invited us to collect there on Friday 15th December, and we netted £562, thanks to sterling efforts from our volunteer collectors (notably Jean and Will).  Our thanks to Morrisons and their customers for their generosity.

A fish called... Wallace?

The RNLI has a national Fish Supper event each year, but we've never quite managed to organise anything for that ourselves.  This year, however, we did bank £38 under that heading, as Jean Dobson challenged us to fill this ceramic fish with coins.  Alas only 5p coins would fit through his mouth, but we did  cram as many as 264 of them in once!
(Jean, why is he called Wallace?)

Chairman's Christmas letter
Branch Chairman Will Stanier has a Christmas message for our supporters - if you would like to read it, please click this link:  Chairman's Christmas letter

Heading for £14,000!
Our early December collection at Derby Railway Station produced a superb total of £385.73 - over 40% more than the equivalent result last year, so our thanks to East Midlands Trains and the station users for their support.
With other recent income (
including the £273 collected at Derby Garden Centre in Little Eaton on 10th November) the station collection helped to take our banked total to over £13,100.  And with a collection at Morrisons in Belper and the profits from our Christmas card sales to come, we are well on the way to matching last year's total of £14,376 - but can we beat it?

Derbyshire Anglers land a 150-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 the proceeds go to the RNLI.  Branch Treasurer Judy Jones was invited to the Bridge Inn in Duffield to receive this year's cheque for £150.  Our thanks to all the anglers for their great support.
Pictured left are Judy with Bridge Inn landlord Phil and 2017 Trophy winner Lee Davis.

Barton Church’s grand support
Will and Sue Stanier from the Branch Committee attended the Sunday service at Barton under Needwood Methodist Church on 29th October, to receive a wonderful donation. The Church has been raising funds over the past year which they've then split between two charities, the RNLI and ‘Shelter Box’. Their fundraising was done through “Soup and Crusty” lunches (soup, crusty roll and a pudding) at the Church, seasonal plant sales and a Christmas Fayre.
The service included the singing of “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” – the hymn traditionally associated with seafarers – and the Lifeboat Prayer.  During the service, Will gave a talk and video presentation about the work of the RNLI, and afterwards accepted the very generous donation – a magnificent £1,156.40 – from David Moore (pictured left)We have given the Church a certificate as a permanent expression of our gratitude for their tremendous support.

Christmas Card sales hit a new record
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).
On Saturday 21st October we had another successful day at Derby Bus Station, selling £251 worth of cards and calendars and receiving another £135 in donations.  With other sales at Melbourne and at Derby Railway Station, we have sold over £1,800 worth - a new record for the Branch.

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.

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