Cruise ships project raises funds for local life-savers 

Torbay Weekly

A Torquay resident’s tribute to cruise ships moored in Torbay over the pandemic has raised almost £3,000 for the local RNLI.

Caroline Sleeman was inspired to create a collection of photographs of the ships resting-up the Bay over the past 18 months and turn them into a book and calendar as a way of celebrating the ships and their crews.

Local training company Eat That Frog turned Caroline’s vision into reality, with tutor Mitch Searle and photography student Seph adding photos and designing the book and calendar for printing.

The finished creations went on sale via Eat That Frog’s website, the Torbay Weekly newspaper office and local retailers.

The book and calendar have been reprinted several times since that original batch and have now nearly sold out, with the profits so far amounting to £2,917.25.

Caroline was delighted to present the funds to representatives of the RNLI in Brixham, saying: “I never dreamed we could raise so much money, it’s amazing.

"A huge thank you to the retailers who stocked the book, including Poppy’s Gift & Kitchenware Shop in Torquay and Lisa at Ocean Blue Art Studio in Shaldon.

"I couldn’t have achieved this without Eat That Frog, many thanks to their director, Sean Westlake, for agreeing to help!”

Lynn Spillett, chair of the Torbay Lifeboat fundraising team, on behalf on the RNLI, said: “With such huge interest in the cruise ships from local residents and holidaymakers, Caroline’s idea was a fantastic fundraiser for RNLI Torbay Lifeboat.

"Like all charities, our fundraising has been severely impacted by the Covid pandemic, so support from projects such as this is very much appreciated.  Our sincere thanks to Caroline and everyone involved in the project.”

Emma Seaman from Eat That Frog said: “This has been such a rewarding project, building on Caroline’s original idea, and raising money for the RNLI, who provide such a great service for our coastal community.

"It’s been a pleasure to feature photos from talented local photographers, including our own young learner Seph, Andrew Sassoli-Walker, Jem Spicer, Ocean Blue Art Studio, Rock Solid Coasteering and Simon Smith.”