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RNLI Birchington & District fundraising branch saved from closure by volunteers

By Katie Davis

This time last year, the Birchington & District fundraising branch of the RNLI was facing closure after more than 30 years.

Through a lot of hard work, however, the branch has been revived with the creation of a new committee and the local Co-op supporting the charity.

Branch chairman Phyllis Gulliver-Crane said: “Someone approached me as I had saved a similar fundraising group for a hospice where I lived before.

Co-op manager David Stubbs presents the cheque to RNLI chairman Phyllis Gulliver-Crane, with vice-chairman Richard and Co-op staff member Jessica

Co-op manager David Stubbs presents the cheque to RNLI chairman Phyllis Gulliver-Crane, with vice-chairman Richard and Co-op staff member Jessica

“I agreed to take on the challenge for one year to see if it was viable.

“So far, we have raised in the region of £12,000 this year, as well as just under £4,000 last year.

“I approached a number of local businesses and they have rallied around by holding quizzes, and the Co-op accepted our application to receive funds from their community 1% scheme.

“We also now have more than 50 collection boxes in the area and this year we have collected more than £2,000 from those.

“We raise funds in order to support the RNLI charity, which on average saves more than 20 people every day in and around the waters of the UK.”

On Saturday, November 25, Co-op manager David Stubbs handed over a cheque for £4,294 to the RNLI branch as part of the store’s community funding.

The Co-op branch has also pledged to donate one per cent of sales of Co-op products for the next 11 months.

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