It has been a sad goodbye to the Torbay Lifeboat Fundraisers Chair, Lynn Spillett, who is leaving the role as she is moving away from Brixham.
Lynn joined Brixham Lifeboat Guild (precursor to TLF) in March 2006. She took over the running of the Kiosk (at that time it was still the little cubby hole in the Lifeboat Station) in August 2007, now a rather posh shed, which takes in over £30,000 per annum and allows all-year round trading.
In March 2015 she was elected as Chair of the Brixham Lifeboat Guild - and continued to run the kiosk. She came to the role with some aspirations to change a few things and modernise our approach to fundraising. She has achieved most of what she set out to do – always with the great support and help from the TLF Committee and members, the Lifeboat Station team and the RNLI.
The Torbay Lifeboat Fundraisers team reflected on Lynn’s tenure, in her own words:
“Back in 2015, that we didn’t have a mechanism in place to communicate with, and update, all our fundraising members and supporters on fundraising throughout the year,” said Lynn.
“So, we set about building a process to distribute a monthly newsletter and general update emails, gradually developing it over the years.
“Many of you may remember the ‘Brixham Lifeboat Guild’ – TLF’s predecessor. With the closure of the Torquay fundraising Branch many years ago, and then the Paignton Branch, it seemed the ideal opportunity in 2018 to rename our Brixham based Guild to become Torbay Lifeboat Fundraisers, with the aim of reaching our fundraising around the whole Bay and encourage fundraising to return in Torquay and Paignton.”
Some of the proudest moments for Lynn included seeing David Ham (ex-Torbay Lifeboat Management Group Chair) receive his MBE in 2016 and Mark Criddle receive his OBE in 2018 – both for their services to the RNLI.
Lynn continued: “We introduced at our AGM, annual awards to TLF members who had ‘gone the extra nautical mile’ - recognising the huge efforts made to our fundraising success.
“We have built some very successful fundraising relationships with Businesses around the Bay – Sainsburys back in 2016 and Hoburne Holiday Park in 2019 - to name but two!
“Torbay Lifeboat Station’s 150th Anniversary in 2016 was a fantastic celebration. My lasting memory will be standing on stage at the Berry Head Hotel alongside Tim Wonnacott from BBC’s Bargain Hunt, whilst he auctioned items donated to us for fundraising.
“Our numerous Proms at the Berry Head Hotel – seeing everyone wave their RNLI flags to Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia always brought tears to my eyes!
“Getting our TLF social media up and running back in 2018 – enabling us to get our fundraising message out to non-TLF members too and seeing the creation of the Torbay Lifeboat WAGs Choir and their performances at our Christmas Carol Services was very special.
“I couldn’t possibly mention the WAGs without mentioning our Carol Service in 2019 – the best ever! Watching our Crew perform ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ is a memory that will live with me forever – what a class act!
“Probably one of my proudest memories was how we managed to keep our fundraising going through such difficult times during Covid. To the TLF committee – you should be massively proud too – the ideas you came up with were simply incredible, I salute you all!
I have built some great friendships along the way and had some very amusing moments…..not least with our Crew!….laughing at times until my sides ached. Treasured memories!
These few words paint a picture of a very special lady, full of enthusiasm, boundless energy, great humour and the ability to engage and enthuse others in her team. She will be greatly missed but not forgotten!
For more information on all RNLI Torbay activities go to www.torbaylifeboat.co.uk
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