Rescue group in SOS appeal for funding
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.”
Inshore lifeboat personnel Tomás and Grattan Neville at Inchydoney beach. The lifeboat service is appealing for donations to http://www.idonate.ie/Inchydoneylifeboat.