Sunderland RNLI fundraising success for Sunderland teenager

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Christian Carney and Ann Cantle


Credit: RNLI/Paul Nicholson

A fundraising night organised by a local teenager who is volunteering for the RNLI as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award has been hailed a huge success after raising £1,150.

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Christian Carney (14) from Fulwell who attends St Aidans Catholic Academy has been attending training sessions, learning and working with the volunteer crew at Sunderland RNLI lifeboat station. This commitment is then put towards the ‘service’ section of the Duke of Edinburgh award.

The night; held on Saturday night was attended by 100 guests and was compared by Yacht Club member Jimmy Carter with live music being provided by local band ‘Fuzz Tones’ and Dave Redfearn.

For the past three years Christian has been a member of Sunderland Yacht Club and is a keen dinghy sailor; taking part in weekly training events and club competitions.

During his time at the lifeboat station he will have learnt the roles of the RNLI station and its crew as well as learning some of the skills it would take to become a volunteer crewman.

After seeing the work of the charity first hand Christian decided to organise a charity night at the Yacht Club to raise some of the vital funds the RNLI needs to continue saving lives at sea.

The funds raised from the night were split between Sunderland RNLI lifeboat station and the Andy Cantle memorial fund.

The ‘Forever by the Sea’ memorial fund setup in memory of Andy who was tragically killed on 10th February 2011 when the commuter plane he was co-piloting crashed at Cork Airport in thick fog. Andy (aged 27) first became involved with Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat station in 2000 when he decided to serve with the charity as part of the Community Service element of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The memorial fund will be used to fund the next operational D Class inshore lifeboat to be stationed at Sunderland once the current boat ‘MyJo’ reaches the end of her front line service life.

Christian said: ‘I am extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of Saturday night; in particularly the Yacht Club, Fuzz Tones, Dave Redfearn and Jimmy Carter for providing the facilities and the entertainment free of charge. We are also in debt to the many individuals and businesses who donated some fantastic raffle and auction prizes’.

During the night an auction took place with the highlights being an autographed football by players from the 1973 FA cup winning team and Sunderland Home Shirt autographed by current squad.

At the end of the night Christian presented the donations to Alan Dixon, Launching Authority at the lifeboat station and Andy Cantles mother Ann Cantle.

Alan Dixon; Launching Authority at Sunderland RNLI said: ‘The whole night was a fantastic success and we are all extremely proud of the effort Christian put into arranging the night. It was fitting that Christian decided to donate half of the money to Andy’s memorial fun as he also started life at the lifeboat station through the award scheme’.

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