Fundraising with a difference

Torbay Weekly

David Phillips, RNLI Torbay community engagement ambassador:

Like most charities, Covid-19 had a severe impact on the type of fundraising the RNLI were able to do during 2020.

With some creative thinking Torbay Lifeboat Fundraisers (TLF) still managed to achieve a branch income, minus costs, of £103,851.17 - including retail sales at our Brixham Middle Street shop and at our kiosk by the Lifeboat station.

During lockdown more emphasis has been placed on online fundraising. Online coffee mornings have become the norm.

Who would have believed that £250 was raised - twice - by doing a 1,000 piece jigsaw in six days by selling blocks of 20 pieces at £5 each!

We have had an online word game, a Zoom online quiz and 'lose it for the lifeboats' after the festive season donating £5 for every 5lb weight loss!

A total of more than £100,000 is a large amount for us to have raised, but we need to take a minute to consider that it costs around £300,000 per annum to run an all-weather lifeboat (ALB) station such as Torbay with its two lifeboats and, in 2020, there were additional costs incurred in terms of PPE for our crew and other virus safety equipment required to keep them safe while out on rescues during the pandemic.

So, although our fundraising was exceptional during the very difficult year, we did sadly fall short in being able to fund Torbay station solely from our TLF efforts.

Moving forward, as restrictions ease, we are looking to hold our first outdoor events since lockdown.

We have:

May 2 - 10am until 4pm - TLF May Day event , Brixham (subject to weather)

This will be our first outside event for a while!  While meeting all the required Covid guidelines, and with authorisation from the local council to go ahead, we will be outside the lifeboat station with a few stalls and a 'Cover the Flag'.  Pop by to say hello and make a purchase or donation!

May 8 - 10am until 4pm - souvenir stall and 'Cover the Flag', Torquay (subject to weather)

Again, meeting all required Covid guidelines and with authorisation from the local council, we will be out and about by the Princess Theatre at Torquay. Pop by to say hello and make a purchase or donation!

Our local fundraising partnerships

We continue to identify and build local fundraising partnerships, working with businesses that have been allowed to open around the Bay to help boost our fundraising income.

Businesses from local supermarkets to small independent traders, cafes and bars, post offices to garden centres, retirement homes to community groups, have all contributed by running events such as raffles, cake sales or head shaving or simply keeping their collecting boxes in a prominent position.

Our huge thanks go to all our supporters who help with our fundraising.

Torbay station news

Shouts for March – a busy month!

  • ALB – 3; total for the year so far, 6
  • ILB – 6; total for the year so far, 13

The inshore lifeboat (ILB) is best suited for work close to Torbay’s rocky foreshores, often in conjunction with the coastguard teams.

The ALB will deal with incidents on larger vessels or further offshore although the two boats will work together if the situation demands it.

Sharp-eyed spotters will have noticed that there have been two ALBs on the Torbay station pontoon.

Lifeboat ‘The Duke of Kent’ (17-45) joined our Torbay lifeboat, ‘Alec & Christina Dykes’ (17-28) at the end of March.  She is a relief boat and is providing cover for our own Torbay lifeboat which has gone away for some engine repairs.

If you would like to help support our lifeboats and their volunteer crews, you can become a member of the RNLI – go to  - or donate to Torbay lifeboat fundraisers (TLF). Go to to access the Just Giving page  - gift aid it if you are able to.

You can become a fundraiser by joining TLF and/or volunteering to help at events. Do something extraordinary and give your time and skills to RNLI Torbay. Every hour that’s volunteered will help save lives.

Fundraising events are held around the bay throughout the year. To find out more go to the Facebook page @TLFTorbay.

Follow RNLI Torbay on social media - Spread the word, like, share or retweet posts.

For more information on all RNLI Torbay activities, go to .You will find a wealth of useful information from the history of Torbay lifeboat to current shouts and fundraising activities.

You can also call me on 07836 375 203.