An unusual backdrop of a Coastguard helicopter was chosen for a major cheque presentation which took place on Wednesday 28 September 2016 at Bembridge Airport, Isle of Wight.
The magnificent sum of £35,000 was raised by Tesco and the tireless efforts of Leanda and Neil Riley, the parents of Betsy Rose Riley who lost her fight for life at Southampton General Hospital in March this year.
Born 15 weeks prematurely and suffering from a rare condition, Betsy Rose lived for just 52 heartbreaking days. During this time Leanda and Neil Riley from the Isle of Wight were able to have free ‘home away from home’ accommodation nearby at Ronald McDonald House Southampton.
Betsy Road Riley cheque presentation for the four charities benefitting from a summer of fundraising by the Riley family, particularly a Betsy Rose Ramble and in-store fundraising in July by Tesco staff, are Southampton Hospital Charity, The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, the Coastguard Association and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Betsy’s mum, Leanda Riley, says: “We wanted to raise as much money as possible for these charities as they are so close to our hearts after helping us care for our daughter. The time we spent with Betsy Rose will always be the most treasured time of our lives and we owe so many thanks to everyone who help us and enabled us to have our special moments with her.”
Judith Stephens, Events and Community Fundraiser at Southampton Hospital Charity, says: “We are so thankful to the Riley family and Tesco stores for raising around £9,000 for the neonatal unit in Southampton. The walk was an incredible collaboration between all four charities, and was very successful in promoting each cause.”
The total raised was divided between the 4 charities and CGA Chairman Stuart Arundel and members from Ventnor Coastguards were on hand to receive a cheque on behalf of the Association and to express thanks for the fantastic efforts of everyone involved.
During the final week of the Spring Term, Year 4 at St. Laurence in Thanet Junior Academy embarked on an ambitious fun-filled day, raising money and awareness for The Coastguard Association. The children had been inspired by a visit from Mike and Stuart, both volunteers with the HM Coastguard, where they learnt about the work of the Coastguard to keep us safe around the coastline of Thanet. They were determined to show that they could make a difference for such an important cause.
Working together, the children planned a variety of activities including a sponsored fun run, Easter egg trail, a fair, which included games and stalls. There was also a raffle, where the children wrote letters explaining what they were doing to local businesses, asking for their support in any way possible. There were many generous contributions, not only from parents and friends, but also from; Wildwood, Tesco, Waitrose, Bugsy Bowling, Quex Paintballing and McDonalds.
Mrs Palmer, Head Teacher from St. Laurence said, “This was a wonderful opportunity for our children to learn about the Coastguard and all the wonderful work they do. I was really impressed with their fundraising and proud of the amount of money they raised.”
Reuben (Year 4) spoke about how proud the class felt having raised money for such an important cause. An impressive total of £500 was raised by the children and they were eager to present this cheque to Mike and Stuart. All the children agreed that this had been a fantastic project and had helped raise both a better awareness to the valuable work of HM Coastguard, and an increased understanding of how to stay safe near water.
Mike Emptage said “The reason we got involved is because I am a CRO at Margate and try to promote sea safety as much as possible in my local area and through a friend was asked to go and see the children and talk about sea safety and what our job is all about.”
“We spent an afternoon firstly giving a talk to the whole school and then speaking to Year 4 who were doing the project, we dressed them up as Coastguards and talked about the uniform and the types of jobs that we do. On returning a week later the children had produced posters about staying safe at the beach and what to do in an emergency. the work was of an excellent standard and you could clearly see that the children had really enjoyed what they were doing and also it was clear to see that they had learnt a great deal from the visit.”