Sunderland RNLI volunteers with Mr & Mrs Walker.
Volunteers based at Sunderland RNLI lifeboat station have received a magnificent donation from a Scottish couple Mr & Mrs Walker.
The £50,000 donation (including £10,000 Gift Aid) has been made in memory of Mr Walker’s late mother Eileen Walker who was originally from the Sunderland area and was involved in local RNLI fundraising branches.
The money will used to pay for crew equipment, training, lifeboat maintenance, and other general station running costs during 2013.
Sunderland RNLI station currently has 23 operational volunteers who all require training and equipment to allow them to do their task safely and efficiently. During 2011 the station was charities 8th busiest in the country; launching on 111 separate occasions to help people in distress.
On average less than 10% of operational volunteers have a professional maritime background so training needs to cover all aspects of operation ranging from the very basic to the more advanced search and rescue specific skills.
Paul Nicholson, Senior Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said: ‘On behalf of all of the volunteers; we are extremely pleased and proud to receive this fantastic donation in memory of Eileen Walker who did a lot of fantastic work for the RNLI during her life. Donations like this are vital to allowing the RNLI to provide us with the best equipment and training.’
Gift Aid is a way for charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) to increase the value of monetary gifts from UK taxpayers by claiming back the basic rate tax paid by the donor on the donation. It can increase the value of donations by a quarter at no extra cost to the donor. Gift Aid is worth nearly £1 billion a year to charities and their donors.
Paul added: ‘This donation also highlights the importance of the government Gift Aid scheme which allows charities such as the RNLI to claim back an element of the tax paid a donor has already paid on the donation.’
As a registered charity the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.