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Lough Ree RNLI opens Christmas shop at Coosan Point

As the festive season draws near Lough Ree RNLI throws open the doors of the lifeboat station at Coosan Point for a special Christmas sale next Saturday afternoon (26 November).

RNLI Christmas cards are central to the charity’s fund-raising drive at this time of year. Always high on the shopping list of supporters the Christmas cards and other RNLI merchandise will be on sale at the new lifeboat station on Saturday afternoon next from 1pm.

Lough Ree RNLI Treasurer Vincent Rafter said: ‘the public support of the charity and its volunteers are crucial for the organisation. So far this year Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew has responded to 47 call outs on the lake.

Over the past two years RNLI fund raising in the midlands has been focussed on the provision of the new lifeboat station which opened in June.

The facility itself is fast becoming a major attraction in the area with volunteers hosting planned visits every month.

Recently the volunteer crew were pleased to receive an encouraging note of thanks, following a visit, from a young girl in Athlone.

Eliza Crosbie (9) from Retreat Heights was part of a group from St. Ciaran’s N.S., Baylin who visited the lifeboat station recently. In her letter she expressed an interest in helping the charity in any way and perhaps making use of her life saving skills. The letter was accompanied by a colourful drawing of the lifeboat on the water.

Station Visits Officer at Lough Ree RNLI, Paul Kelly, said: ‘the visits are a new initiative for us and this is one of the first responses we have received. The future of the RNLI is assured with the enthusiasm Eliza and her friends have expressed for the organisation.

So impressed were the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew with the letter that they invited Eliza to the station this week for a personal tour. Lough Ree RNLI Operations Manager Kevin Ganly and Station Visits Officer Paul Kelly made a small presentation to Eliza to mark the occasion.

Picture (L-R) Paul Kelly, Station Visits, Lough Ree RNLI; Eliza Crosbie; Kevin Ganly, Operations Manager, Lough Ree RNLI

Newcastle RNLI launches festive Castlewellan 10K and 5K and one mile fun run

Newcastle RNLI has launched a festive 10K, 5K and one mile fun run to help save lives at sea.

Appealing to the seasoned athlete as well as families and fun runners wanting to get some exercise while getting into the Christmas spirit, the event will take place on Sunday 11 December around the Castlewellan Lake on a mainly flat terrain.

The 10K and 5K events will be chip-timed with prizes for the winners and an iconic RNLI all-weather lifeboat medal for all participants. The one-mile Christmas dash meanwhile, is open to everyone and suitable for those bringing families and those with prams and/or pets. While fun runners won’t be timed, they too will receive a Christmas medal for their efforts. There will also be prizes for the most festive costumes.

For those who can’t do the run on the day but would still like to take part, there will be a virtual option. Simply do the 10K in your own time, send Strava/Garmin or equivalent evidence of completion to RNLI Community Manager Nuala Muldoon at [email protected] and you will receive a medal in the post.

Speaking ahead of the event, RNLI Community Manager Nuala Muldoon, said: ‘This is a wonderful Christmas event with options to be competitive in either the 10K or 5K, to enjoy the fun run with family or friends, or do it in your own spare time virtually. We want people to really get into the Christmas spirit by dressing up, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying a well-deserved mince pie and some Christmas fun at the finish line.

‘All proceeds raised from the Castlewellan event will go to Newcastle RNLI. Every time a RNLI crew launches, they are determined to save every one. But they can’t do that without the generosity of the public who support events such as these and raise vital funds. By taking on the Castlewellan 10K/5K or one mile fun run, participants are helping to keep our volunteers safe. Every penny they raise makes a difference. It helps the charity to recruit and train volunteers and could fund the kit they need to protect themselves. It helps ensure a lifeboat is ready when the call comes and it enables our safety advice to reach as many people as possible so they can stay safe by the water.’

In 2021, lifeboats at Northern Ireland’s 10 stations launched 297 times bringing 370 people to safety, seven of whom were lives saved. During the lifeguard season, RNLI teams located on 11 beaches along the Causeway Coast and in county Down, responded to 330 incidents, coming to the aid of 384 people, one of whom was a life saved.

To register for the Castlewellan 10K/5K and one-mile festive fun run on Sunday 11 December, click on this link:

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