Questions about the CGA

Your Questions and our Answers about the Coastguard Association and the work that we are involved in within the UK.

Q.What is the Coastguard Association?

A. The Coastguard Association is a registered charity 279359. Established in 1976 to help Coastguard personnel and their dependents from all over the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man, in times of hardship. The charity has the blessing and the full support of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Q. Who do we help?

A. The trustees seek to help any serving or retired (by age or medically) Coastguard personnel in times of genuine hardship, poverty or distress. Each claim is treated on its merit in a prompt, confidential and sympathetic manner. More details here.

Q. What about local branches funds?

A. As Trustees, we strive to complement branches, not compete with them, and on many occasions we work in conjunction with them to finance more expensive cases. Many branches do not have their own funds and look exclusively to us to fulfill this area of staff welfare.

Where are the local branches? Details here:

Q. How do I Claim?

A. All claims must be submitted in writing to the National Almoner, stating the exact hardship, a brief history of events, the claimant’s age, number of dependants etc, plus any other information to support the claim. Normally we would expect the claim to come via a third party and be verified as genuine. All claims are treated in strictest confidence. More details here.

Q. How is the Coastguard Charity Fund financed?

A. We do not receive any Government or business grants, and depend entirely on voluntary donations. The Fund also has the advantage of the Treasurer being a retired bank manager and our accountant a member of Central branch. The Fund is subject to a full annual audit from the Charity Commisioners. We also present a full financial report at our Annual General Meeting each year, held during the month of April, to which all are welcome. The Trustees are all volunteers, which keeps our administrative expenditure low compared to other charities.

Q.  What is our Charity Charter?

When you consider making a gift to our charity, we undertake that:

  •  All communications surrounding it will be honest, truthful and will comply with the law.
  • Your right to privacy will be respected and you will not be subjected to any form of pressure.
  • Your gift will be applied to the purpose for which it was originally requested.
  • Your gift will be used in a way that preserves the dignity of the beneficiary.
  • Your gift will be handled responsibly and to the greatest advantage of the beneficiary.
  • Fundraisers of the Coastguard Association will consider how they meet your wishes as a donor and will be transparent in their dealings with you.
  • Fundraisers will respect your needs for confidentiality and will comply with the law relating to fundraising and the use of personal data.
  • Fundraisers will strive to achieve the highest professional standards at all times
  • The National committee of the Coastguard Association will handle any concerns you may have relating to these points swiftly and effectively.

Waitrose Local Charity Fund

Lymington CGA branch recently received £540.00 from the Waitrose Local Community Charity Fund.

For those unaware, Waitrose Branches have a monthly collection/donation scheme which involves customers being given a green disc at the check out and place it in the box of their choice (3). £1000 is divided up each month between each nominated charity according to the number of discs in each box

Lymington’s CGA’s £540 represented over half of the entire fund, which was a fantastic result and according to our local store this was one of the highest single donations they have made.

If other branches haven’t already approached their local Waitrose store, then please get in touch as it’s worth while.


Fundraising Ideas and Tips

There are many ways of fund raising whether at National or local level; I hope that the following will help your branch in planning future fund raising events.

  • If you are fund raising on a National level then you are welcome to use the CGA e logo with the charity no 279359.
    Please contact for a copy of the artwork.
  • If you are fund raising locally for local charities then you must state that you are collecting for your local charity under the banner of the Coastguard Association.
  • A charity fund raiser is a great way of letting the public know about the Coastguard Association or your local branch, while at the same time enjoying the challenges and the rewards of assisting those less fortunate than ourselves.
  • Planning is crucial. Events don’t just happen by chance. They should be meticulously planned, well in advance. Give yourself plenty of time.
  • It is important to come up with good ideas and we urge every fundraiser to come up with novel and unusual or dramatic concepts, which will capture the public’s imagination and generate media interest.
  •  Publicity too has to be considered, flyers and posters help to raise your profile as does keeping the local press up to date. Please let us know what you are doing and we will try and help too. Our current secretary maybe able to help with artwork.
  • Local businesses that will often want to be associated with charitable events and can provide not only financial backing but also support in kind. Goods can be used as raffle prizes or at car boot sales.
  • The need to work closely with your selected charity is underlined. Official charities will provide fundraisers with authorisation, details of national campaigns and advice about where money raised can be used.
  • Always remember to keep things official and adhere to regulations in areas such as street collections, contact your local council.
  • Bike rides and sponsored walks always remember to contact the Police who will provide you with information on the do’s and dont’s in your area.

More Ideas for Fundraising

  • Non Uniform Day – Give a donation to attend school / college in your own clothes.
  • Job Swaps – We all feel at times we can do better than the boss can. Auction the MD’s / Head of Department’s / Cleaner’s job for an afternoon.
  • Fancy Dress – Pay to come to work in fancy dress. (H&S permitting)
  • Guess the Baby competition – photos of the staff / colleagues as babies.
  • Fashion Show
  • Concert / Play / Musical Evening
  • Trivia Quiz – Pop / Sport / General Knowledge / etc.
  • Fete
  • Car Boot Sale
  • It’s a Knock Out
  • Sponsored Silence
  • Sponsored Haircut
  • Five / seven a side football / rugby / hockey / etc.
  • Sponsored Walk
  • Charity Shop

Making it happen

Once you have chosen your event there are many areas that you must cover to make it a success. The keyword is PLANNING – allow plenty of time to look at the various aspects of the challenge that lies before you.

  • Discuss with friends, colleagues, and management how easily the event can be organised.
  • Do we have the people to make all parts of the project run smoothly?
  • Will the event cost us anything to get off the ground?
  • Arrange a date.
  • What resources do we need?
  • How do we publicise the event?
  • What can go wrong?
  • Do you need insurance? First Aiders?
  • Can we get a celebrity?

Publicising the event

Your event must be well publicised if it is to be a success.

At work:

  • Work notice boards
  • Company magazine
  • Announced at briefings
  • Word of mouth
  • Email Signatures

At home:

  • Leaflets to families
  • Leaflets to local suppliers
  • Announced on local radio
  • Advertisement in local paper
  • Notices placed in public places in the community, for example, surgeries, libraries, local shops

The media

If you are able to get the support of your local Radio and TV station your event’s profile is taken onto another level. You will find it invaluable when approaching people in the local business community. If they think that they might be able to get some good (and cheap) local PR, they are more likely to help.
The person to get in touch with in the local paper is the news editor. If you know a reporter use the personal contact as this always works better than the cold contact.

Find out the paper’s deadlines for copy and photographs. They must always know:

  • What the event is
  • Who is involved?
  • Why the event is taking place
  • When, where and what time?
  •  Contact name for further information

When you are planning your event, always try and think like a newspaper reporter. Think what is newsworthy. Try to create a publicity stunt / have a local dignitary / local celebrity / and always have a photo opportunity.

Handy hints when seeking sponsors

  • Set your sponsorship target – aim high!
  • Seek help from your friends – network, friends of friends – you will collect more than you thought possible, but you need to work at it.
  • Think about organising small events, a coffee morning, disco, jumble sale or a car boot sale – whatever you feel comfortable with. The only limit is your imagination!
  • Start your sponsorship early – well in advance of the event.
  • When you approach people for sponsorship, ask them if they would mind giving you the money NOW – offer a receipt (we can provide you with a book if you need it). It is easier to give money back should you have to pull out of the event, as opposed to trying to collect after the event – people lose interest quickly, and often find excuses for not giving you the money.
  • Always maintain a record of your sponsors and ensure that your list reflects those who have paid and those who have still to give you their contribution.
  • If you belong to a club or association, get them involved as a sponsor, either by organising a fundraising event, or by ‘matching’ the funds you raise.
  •  Ask local companies or firms to sponsor you in return for wearing their logo on your T-shirt.

Sponsorship ideas that have worked

  • Approach companies for corporate sponsorship (companies have donated between £100 and £350 for their logo on a shirt). Approach the Public Relations department or Community Development department
  • Put a note through all your neighbours’ doors telling them who you are and what the event is. On the note, put a time when you will come back to collect the money or pledge
  • Get a friend or colleague to organise your fundraising while you train
  • Get the press involved as much as possible. Try to get your photo or a story about your fundraising in the local paper as much as possible
  • Do something different – pull a car along a stretch of road, get a Mohican haircut (if your boss allows it) etc.
  • Organise a plush dinner with guest speakers
  • Photocopy the sponsorship forms and pass them out to friends and family who live in different parts of the country
  • Organise a raffle with prizes from local shops
  • Do bucket collections round the local pubs and clubs (get permission from the owners first)

We wish you every success and if we help publise your event via our web site, please get in touch with the secretary.


Cliff Railway Charity of the Year

charityoftheyearThe Coastguard Association are delighted that they were charity of the year for Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway in North Devon – we really recommend that you pop along and visit this unique Victorian, water powered lift …

With Special thanks to Asley Clarke and Cathy Richards who stood out most days collecting, they presented us with an amazing cheque for £6,043.90p

For more details of the cliff railway and to plan your visit –


From the Archives


HMCG used to do a magazine filled with interesting stories / articles / pictures and here are a few snippets of what was in them. We promise you these will bring back a few memories.

These are selection of the images that we found relating to this on the old web site (prior to 2015) before we moved to our new address.