Res­cue group in SOS ap­peal for fund­ing

Irish Examiner - - County - Áilín Quin­lan

A West Cork res­cue group, the only one of its kind in the coun­try to op­er­ate a back-up ser­vice to life­guards, has is­sued an SOS to lo­cal peo­ple to do­nate and help it reach its an­nual €10,000 fundrais­ing tar­get.

This year, the Inchy­doney In­shore Lifeboat As­so­ci­a­tion, which pro­vides cru­cial daily sup­port to the beach’s life­guards, should be cel­e­brat­ing its 50th an­niver­sary but, in­stead, it is fight­ing to sur­vive as a re­sult of the can­cel­la­tion of all its tra­di­tional fundrais­ing events. The group, which main­tains an in­flat­able res­cue boat and a crew of three, pro­vides back-up to the Inchy­doney beach life­guard ser­vice.

“We work hand in hand with the life­guards, es­sen­tially pro­vid­ing a back-up ser­vice,” said the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s vice chair, John O’Sul­li­van.

“We launch the in­flat­able ev­ery morn­ing for pa­trol pur­poses. Pa­trols take place at in­ter­vals through­out the day and the boat is also launched at the re­quest of col­leagues in the life­guard ser­vice at Inchy­doney.”

The res­cue ser­vice is funded in two main ways, said Mr O’Sul­li­van, who is a mem­ber of the 12-strong which over­sees fundrais­ing.

“Our main fundrais­ing av­enue have been weekly church gate col­lec­tions since we were es­tab­lished in 1970, along with our Au­gust bank hol­i­day Beach Col­lec­tion, which be­gan in 1984. Be­tween the two of th­ese, we would nor­mally raise the ma­jor­ity of our funds. Any ex­tra fund­ing usu­ally came from fundrais­ing events such as swims, runs, and ta­ble quizzes or­gan­ised by lo­cal peo­ple.”

As all of th­ese events have had to be can­celled as a re­sult of the Covid-19 pan­demic, the group has so far this year man­aged to raise only 20% of its nor­mal fund­ing. Now, in a des­per­ate bid to gar­ner cru­cial fi­nan­cial sup­port, it has launched an on­line fundraiser.

How­ever, in the two weeks since it was up­loaded, the page has only man­aged to raise €455 for the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The group is now try­ing to raise pub­lic aware­ness of the ex­is­tence of this new, on­line fundrais­ing av­enue.

“Nor­mally, by the end of the Au­gust bank hol­i­day week­end, we would have col­lected 70% of our an­nual fun­com­mit­tee drais­ing tar­get but so far this year we have only man­aged to raise 20% of it,” said Mr O’Sul­li­van.

“We are now ap­peal­ing to the lo­cal com­mu­nity to visit this page and sup­port this ser­vice which has been on­go­ing at Inchy­doney beach since 1970.

“On the fundrais­ing side, this year has been very tough. There is a lot of un­cer­tainty. Our ser­vice pro­vides an added layer of beach safety both for the lo­cal com­mu­nity and for vis­i­tors to the beach.”

■ www.ido­nate.ie/inchy­doneylifeb­oat.

Pic­ture: De­nis Boyle

In­shore lifeboat per­son­nel Tomás and Grat­tan Neville at Inchy­doney beach. The lifeboat ser­vice is ap­peal­ing for do­na­tions to http://www.ido­nate.ie/Inchy­doneylifeb­oat.

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