Local water safety and search and rescue services from Fairlight to Camber have been given a boost by a timely donation to the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat (PLIRB) charity from St Leonards-on-Sea freemasons from the White Rock Masonic Lodge.
The PLIRB charity, which is staffed by volunteers, is independent of the RNLI service and receives no central or government funding. Despite maintaining a rescue-ready service throughout lockdown, the charity has been severely affected by the ongoing effects of the Covid pandemic, restricting its fundraising ability at the same time as requiring extra expenditure on PPE for its volunteers.
Turning to social media for help, the charity put out a community appeal for desperately needed PPE. The appeal was seen by Sussex freemason and member of White Rock Lodge, Darren McCarthy who, through the lodge, purchased and organised the delivery of the much needed PPE, including six boxes of disposable gloves, six boxes of masks and ten litres of antibacterial hand gel, complete with dispensing pumps. And the lodge has also donated an additional £100 to support the work of the charity.
On a visit to the PLIRB boathouse last month Darren handed the PPE to the PLIRB’s delighted volunteers, plus a £100 cheque to PLIRB Treasurer, Stella Dunn.
Fiona Johnson, chair of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat charity said: “With this wonderful batch of disposable PPE, as well as the antibacterial hand gel, thanks to the White Rock Freemason’s Lodge we’re now confident that we have what we need to help maintain a Covid-secure presence when our volunteers are at the boathouse.
“As all of our fundraising events in 2020 had to be cancelled, the donation of £100 is also very welcome and it will be used to help us meet some of the extra costs we now face as we continue to provide a 24/7 on-call rescue response on the local coastline.”
Handing over the cheque, Darren shared: “It’s what we freemasons do, we try to help local causes. When I saw the post on Facebook, I knew we could do something.”
About Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat
Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat is a self-funded charity (UK charity no: 286891) providing inshore water safety, plus search and rescue services along the coastline from Fairlight to Camber, as well as inland on local rivers and waterways. The charity is staffed solely by volunteers, is independent of the RNLI service and receives no central or government funding. For more information, visit plirb.com.
Freemasonry in Sussex
There are over 4,000 freemasons in Sussex, meeting in 161 masonic lodges in 27 locations across the county. Sussex freemasons have been supporting Sussex communities since 1696. www.sussexmasons.org.uk.
Image Credits: Katherine Crowther .