On Sunday, May 23, the volunteers at Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat (PLIRB) received a visit from Rother councillor Andrew Mier.
Being a Fairlight resident, as well as the local ward councillor, Andrew has maintained contact with the self-funded charity throughout the pandemic and has been aware of the difficulties the charity experienced in accessing pandemic ‘rescue’ funding as allocated by local government as reported in Rye News in November 2020.
As a result of these difficulties the charity, managed and served completely by volunteers, started 2021 with a significant deficit in funding the £10,000 it costs to run the service each year. But in April, after almost a year of trying, the volunteers at PLIRB have finally been successful in achieving a Rother discretionary grant of just under £5,000.
A welcome grant, a welcome visit
Once many of the restrictions on social mixing were lifted on May 17, Councillor Mier and his partner Carol, were able to visit the boathouse and meet crew to find out more about the impact of the pandemic on the charity, the rescue and safety services they have continued to provide throughout lockdowns, and why the award of the discretionary grant has been so vital for the charity. As the councillor for the PLIRB’s local ward, Councillor Mier has particularly recognised this:
“I am very pleased that Rother has awarded the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat a discretionary grant in recognition of their loss of income from fundraising activity during the pandemic. The boat’s vital work had to carry on while income was curtailed. Grants relating to losses arising from lockdown are still available from Rother and organisations and businesses should check Rother’s website to see if they are eligible. There is a closing date of June 30.”
During his visit, Councillor Mier was also able to see the PLIRB’s boat, base and beach crews in action, as the remaining clearance of the Strandliners’ beach cleanup at Fairlight Cove was also taking place.
After his tour of the boathouse and chat with the volunteers, Councillor Mier reviewed the significant amount of rubbish collected by Strandliners CIC and removed from the Fairlight Berm by the PLIRB volunteers, later commenting: “I am also very pleased to see the rescue boat working with Strandliners to remove and analyse troubling quantities of plastic waste from our beaches. Strandliners have had a Rother grant under the community grants scheme and details on how to apply are available on Rother’s website. We are very lucky to have so many dedicated volunteers serving our community and I thank all concerned for what they are doing.”
The PLIRB volunteers were also heartened by the visit and grateful for the support of Councillor Mier and of Rother District Council via the grant. Kev Nuttall, chair of the PLIRB committee (and pictured above with Councillor Mier and partner Carol) shared: “Along with many charities, we have struggled with the impact of the pandemic on our ability to raise money for our significant running costs. Achieving this grant enables us to continue to provide rescue services as lockdown lifts and local beaches become busier, and we appreciate the support and recognition from Councillor Mier and Rother District Council.”
If you would like to know more about Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, please visit plirb.com.
If you would like to know more about Strandliners, please visit the Strandliners CIC website.
If you would like to know more about Rother District Council grants, please visit Rother District Council website.
Image Credits: Katherine Crowther .