Weston-super-Mare RNLI is holding an Appeal for a new Lifeboat station.
Lord Jeffery Archer was brought up in Weston-super-Mare and when awarded a peerage took its name. He has always maintained a keen interest in his home town, even using it as the venue for a major event in one of his books.
Currently the RNLI in Weston operate from Birnbeck Island, the only island in the country connected to the mainland by a Pier. However the state of the Pier means that crews have to use an RNLI maintained wooden walk way to reach their boats. The RNLI has decided that it has no option but to build a new station. It has not yet been decided where that station will be but an Appeal has been launched to raise funds so that when the plans are ready building work can start.
The local RNLI family, volunteer crews and volunteer fundraisers, have been given an initial target of £300,000 raise towards the eventual cost.
The Appeal wished to have a high profile President to give it kudos and make everyone realise that we at Weston are serious and determined to raise enough money to get a new station as soon as possible.
Jeffery Archer has had a colourful and extremely successful career. He is well thought of locally as he supports many local charities including the local Hospice and youth centres. It was thus felt that the local people would regard him as an excellent figure head for the Appeal. When asked he jumped at the chance, not only agreeing to be the President and help with various events but he has promised a donation of £10, 000 to help the Appeal.
In his acceptance, Lord Archer said;’ I have always been a huge fan of the work of the RNLI. I spent much of my spare time in my youth on the Old Pier at Weston-super-Mare, not just because of my interest in lifeboats but also the daughter of Captain Wise, the pier master.
Peter Holder, Lifeboat Operations Manager for Weston-super-Mare said; ‘I am delighted that Lord Archer has agreed to support the Appeal. Our crews deserve the best from the RNLI and the Appeal should enable them to get up to date modern facilities.
Peter Elmont, Char of the Weston-super-Mare RNLI fund raising Branch said;’ This is great news. Having Lord Archer as our President will help raise the profile of the Appeal and also his donation will be a welcome contribution to our funds.’