As a small business we are often asked to help charities and local causes and where possible we always try our best to help, selling merchandise, donating goods, sponsoring, etc. When we were asked about helping save St Abbs lifeboat it peaked my interest as an avid user of the sea. Anyone who ventures out into the sea off the east coast knows all too well the dangers it can pose and we often take for granted those men and women who volunteer at lifeboat stations up and down the coast saving lives. In it’s time St Abbs lifeboat has saved 230 lives to be exact, so when told the RNLI had threatened closure it struck us as very confusing decision. We instantly wanted to do whatever we could to help. Armed with a design and a concept we produced a handful of t-shirts, which quickly turned into more than a handful of t-shirt each day, in turn that led to online sales, packages going to far flung corners of the world. Pictures flooding back of people raising awareness in the most unlikely of places. From an idea for a t-shirt came a tidal wave of public appetite to help support the cause and get their hands on what was the summer 2015 must have fashion item. From Tokyo to Texas, from T in the Park to Lauderdale park there were t-shirts all over the world. Which not only shows the incredible good nature of people but also the amount of people who are touched by a village which holds 90 permanent residents.
Jackson (my son) and I visited the Lifeboat near to the end of the campaign and it was awash with people displaying their support to keep the station open, the volunteers and support staff were some of the most determined people I have had the privilege of meeting. We had a tour of the shed and saw the boat in question, amazing to think this vessel has been for many the most savoured site they will ever see as it careers toward them saving them from the clutches of the sea. Meeting some of the crew who risk their lives so readily for others is inspiring and they deserve so much more than they will ever get.
Being Scottish I am used to being on the losing side and whilst dissapointed we didn’t manage to change RNLI minds, I am inspired by the people we have met along the way and have every confidence in the people based at St Abbs. In spite of the station closing I am confident that these people will be able to make a difference, whether it be just continuing to be the type of people who jump into icy cold water to save someone in need or setting up and managing their own privately funded lifeboat station. We will of course gladly help them in anyway we can.
Keep up to date with all news and information about the campaign and next steps here: http://www.stabbslifeboat.org.uk/