Another Darn good effort
Etwall Coffee Club have made us their Charity of the Year, and as part of the fundraising effort, our long-standing supporters Martin and Margaret Darn raffled a superb painting of the Llandudno lifeboat.  The photo (left) shows them presenting it to the lucky winner, Mr Noel Robinson.  Margaret and Martin have always been keen helpers of the Branch, and this is another example of their support.
On the same occasion (the Club's Autumn Fair) we were invited to sell Christmas cards and souvenirs, and we were very pleased to have the opportunity.
Congratulations...

...to Ian Beacock and Mandy Harris, two members of our Branch Committee, who were married on 13th October.  And very generously they asked their friends and family for donations to the RNLI instead of wedding gifts, and the result was over £500 to swell the funds.  Our best wishes to Ian and Mandy for their future happiness together. 

Look closely at the photo and you'll see that Ian is wearing an RNLI tie.  As branch chairman Will Stanier says, "if that doesn't show commitment to the cause...........!!"

Sizzling Support from the Argosy!

The management team, staff and, wonderfully, the customers at The Argosy, part of the "Sizzling Pub" brand, on Manor Road between Littleover and Mickleover, have been long-time, very generous supporters of The RNLI. This support is enthusiastically led by Argosy regular 'Bub' Hatton.  When Branch Treasurer, Judy Jones, was recently asked to empty the pub's collection box, its contents were generously added to by 'Bub'. Incredibly, the total handed to Judy that day amounted to a truly wonderful £638.80!  Obviously, on behalf of the Branch and the RNLI Judy offered profuse thanks for this most generous support from all those who have contributed to this magnificent result. 

However, more amazing news was to follow... the owners of The Argosy and the "Sizzling Pub" brand, Mitchells & Butlers, with the fantastic support of Argosy landlord Dan Johnson, have added an additional, amazingly generous donation of £500. So, on October 24th, Dan Johnson (1st left in the photo above) and 'Bub' Hatton (2nd left) were delighted to present a cheque for a truly stunning £1,138.80, to City of Derby Branch Treasurer Judy Jones and Branch Chairman Will Stanier.  In his thanks for this brilliant amount, Will referred not only to how valuable this support is to the RNLI but also highlighted the fact that, in nearly a decade of 'Bub' being at the helm of the many fundraising initiatives for the RNLI at The Argosy and along with the donations made through our collection box there, an incredible figure of nigh on £3,000 has been raised! Amazing support for which the RNLI is, truly, very grateful. Our thanks to all those who have contributed to this wonderful result. 
Christmas Card sales well under way
Sales of RNLI Christmas cards, calendars and diaries bring in valuable funds for the lifeboats and help raise the RNLI's profile too. We've started or 2018 sales now, with a 2-day sale at Park Farm shopping centre on 19th and 20th October, selling £508 worth. Sadly, we didn't last year's superb figure, but donations £177 made the efforts even more worthwhile. 
A two-day sale at Derby Railway Station in early November produced £143.50 from card sales and £78.78 in donations. Pictured (right) are our Alf Wall and Debbie Ingles of the EMT Customer Care Team. Our thanks to East Midlands Trains, their customers and, of course the customers of Cross Country Trains.  One visitor to the stall was actress Sue Pollard who stopped to chat – she was enthusiastic in her recognition of, and thanks to, the RNLI for all they do.
Two collections - same result!
We were kindly invited to collect at two garden centres in September – Wyevale Garden Centre at Findern and Swarkestone Nursery – and the results were almost identical.  Wyevale produced £203.52, while Swarkestone's total was just 21p more at £203.73.  
Almost as remarkable was that the two 'relay' teams of collectors at Swarkestone took the same amount, to within 9p, at £101.91 (Pauline, Natalia and Sally) and £101.82 (Judy, Mike and Alan).  All very satisfactory results, so thanks to both the garden centres and their customers, and of course to our volunteers.  

Pictured (left) at Wyevale are Jean and Richard Dobson.

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!

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.

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