RNLI benefits from a wave of support

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STAFF at The Co-operative put their best foot forward when they were asked to support the RNLI.

They wore their wellies to work and helped the business raise more than £25,000 during a month of supporting the charity which saves lives at sea.

Fund-raising took place in 110 of the food stores run by The Co-operative Group with some stores also holding individual fund-raising events supported by their customers to raise money for the RNLI.

The stores are close to lifeboat stations and enjoy a good relationship with the crews and fund-raising teams.

The events took place to mark the RNLI’s annual SOS campaign in which it asks the public for help in donating money to ensure that the charity continues to operate lifeboats.

In Scotland there are 53 lifeboats based at 45 stations and it costs more than £10 million to run the RNLI in the country per year with the help of 2,455 fund-raising volunteers, 790 crew members, 350 station management volunteers and 70 shore helpers.

Staff at The Co-operative food store in Arbroath were delighted to meet with crew members from the town’s RNLI station to hand over a cheque for the total amount raised of £25,687.

In return they were given a tour of the lifeboat station by Allan Russell, the full-time mechanic, and were shown the town’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats.

John McNeill, operations director for The Co-operative Food in Scotland, said: “To raise such an amount in just one month is a fantastic effort by colleagues in all our stores which took part. I’d also like to thank all our customers who helped as well.

“The work of the RNLI is so valuable, we’re always keen to raise money for such a worthwhile cause.”

Ross MacKay, RNLI corporate partnerships manager in Scotland, commented: “The RNLI is delighted with the ongoing support and commitment shown by the company.

“The Co-operative has raised in excess of £250,000 for the RNLI in recent years which is a tremendous amount and testament to the unstinting efforts of not only their staff but also their loyal customers.”

The Co-operative Food, part of The Co-operative Group, will receive an award at the RNLI’s annual presentation ceremony in London in May for winning the corporate category in recognition of their fund-raising efforts. They have also assisted with spreading RNLI education and safety messages.