To all committee members, volunteers and friends.
Hello, and seasons greetings to all fellow lifesavers.
Thank you all for a great year that 2013 has been. It has not been easy what with the economic situation and the wonderful British climate, BUT you have overcome all.
I said in an earlier message that this was not going to be a record-breaking year for us, and on the basis of the figures to date it appears I was right. HOWEVER, we do appear to have matched our previous years and on that basis I congratulate and thank you most sincerely.
As I now enter my 40th year as an RNLI Governor I cannot afford to look back over that period, it has gone by so quickly, so much “water under the bridge”, but the work of the service is forever increasing. The old adage often repeated “Will they never learn” seems to apply more nowadays than ever before. More of the populace are using the seaside, and other water orientated areas, for annual holidays, weekend breaks or just a day out. Many are from inland towns and cities and they do not understand the ways or the power of that “wet stuff”.
But is not nowadays just the recreational areas that use the Institutions specialist knowledge and facilities. In these times of natural phenomena the service is being called out more often, and no request for help or assistance is refused and we are not Government aided.
Please have this in mind and remember that like us the crews at the “sharp end” are all volunteers. We have the easy job, yes we may get cold, wet even bored stood around “shaking” a bucket, but at least can have a break and a brew, talk to people and relax a little. Once on the “wet stuff” who knows what the crews, both men and women, have to endure. From the films and videos I have seen I’ll stick to my armchair, thank you. Although I do think back to when I was rescued by the Brixham lifeboat, mid English Channel, back in 74. And if you are wondering that is 1974 not 1874.
So I know from first hand experience what we are about.
While repeating my thanks for your efforts for 2013 I would now like to ask you to focus your thoughts to 2014. We cannot afford to be complacent, and to this end the committee have, thanks to information supplied by our treasurer Anne, been able to identify our areas where we should, and more important, should not be spending our energies. Needless to say a programme of collecting events will be arranged but on a different format, and hopefully better, financial, results
A principal source of our income (steady cash flow) is from our collecting boxes that are distributed throughout the area. But needless to say we do not have enough in circulation. We are all scattered throughout the various areas of “our” region, basically that is anything with an MK postcode (a very big area). You are the feet on the ground, you know your shops, pubs, clubs, chippies, hairdressers, places of work in fact anywhere where monies are changed hands. Some of the boxes do not raise very much others a reasonable amount, BUT combined the sum is quite considerable.
We have all seen the number of boxes that Willen Hospice and the Air Ambulance have in circulation. I would really appreciate it if we could match that figure and get more boxes out into the area, hopefully initially at least two (2) each which will give us 50/60 more collection points. That would be brilliant. Will you help??
Leaflets and posters can be supplied if required.
Another area the has proved lucrative is a coffee morning, the last one raised over £500. In Olney earlier this year a garden party raised over £1200. These are just two areas that raise money that do not involve “shaking” a bucket. Any offers??
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in 2014 and again thank you for you past endeavours. Can I remind you of the Sea Shanty 2 event we have coming up in January, tickets are limited but a brilliant night out.
In closing can I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year when together we can keep saving lives.
Kind Regards and Best Wishes.
Chairman RNLI Milton Keynes Branch