5p coins for RNLI

Headteacher Mrs Gardiner and pupils of St Thomas'

8,000… that’s a whole lot of 5 pence coins and they weigh 26,000 grams.

During the pandemic, children from St Thomas’ Church of England Aided Primary School have collected lots and lots of 5 pence coins to help their local RNLI station, Rye Harbour. They were really excited by the project and raised £400, which is an amazing result.

Why the 5 pence coins? Well, Betty Frith was the honorary secretary of the Hartford branch of the RNLI, and whilst at Bexhill-on-Sea on holiday, staying at a guest house, she had the brilliant idea over breakfast of washing out the little pots with jam in and getting people to fill them with 5 pence coins.

She had been doing this for many years when the Durham branch of the RNLI heard of the idea and ran with it. They have so far raised £147,500: that is 2.4 million 5 pence coins which, if laid end to end, would stretch over 35 miles and weigh nearly eight tonnes.

St Thomas headteacher, Carole Gardiner, commented: “Following an interesting assembly by Kt and Martin Bruce about the RNLI and the introduction of the 5p challenge, the children were very keen to support our local team.

“As a school community we regard the RNLI as a vitally important part of our community and as so many of our families live in Winchelsea Beach, they see for themselves the amazing work the RNLI do.

“We were also delighted to be involved in the pebble-painting for the RNLI Rye Harbour Mary Stanford Memorial.”

Image Credits: Kt Bruce .


  1. I put 5p, 1 p and 2 p coins into a large jar, as keeping them in my purse turns it into a lethal weapon. I would be happy to donate them to such a good cause as the RNLI, but where should I take them? Some information would be appreciated.


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