The founder branch of the Association was the Isle of Man Branch in 1974 and was formed by the Chief Coastguard at the time, the late John Douglas.
The aims were defined as follows: – The CGA was formed to, according to the Trust Deed, to “further the efficiency of the Coastguard service for the public benefit by the relief of serving and retired Regular and Volunteer Coastguards and their dependents who are suffering from real hardship and distress or illness, ill-health or injury”.
The National Committee Charity was bestowed upon the Association on the 15th of January 1980. To date although the Charity is not rich has brought welcome relief not only to individuals but also to families of seafarers injured or lost at sea. Even when monetary help is not required it is always a comfort to know that as a member the Association you can turn and find friendship and sympathy in times of stress.
The Official Coastguard Association logo was created in the early 1990s by Penarth Coastguard in South Wales. The then CGA Chairman, Sector Officer Rab Taylor, and Deputy Auxiliary in Charge, Penarth, Anthony Ernest, also PRO for the CGA, sought the advice of a local Penarth based graphic designer and printer, Imprint, to come up with a logo based on the letters CGA.
Imprint produced an initial design, then modified by Rab and Anthony into the the final design of a yacht, whose sails incorporated each of the letters CGA, on the High Seas under Full Sail, surrounded by the words Coastguard Association within a hexagon inside a circle. The colour scheme adopted was yellow for the logo and the surrounds in light blue.
The design was adopted by the CGA National Committee on which Rab and Anthony were then active members, and has been used ever since on CGA letterheads, diaries, calendars and clothing, and has proved a popular and effective way of promoting the purpose and work of the Coastguard Association.” Anthony Ernest. (R’td.) CRO 1968 – 1996.
In 2008, the CGA has over 30 branches around the coast some dating from 1974 whilst others are very new.
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 a member of Central branch. The Fund is subject to a full annual audit from the Charity Commissioners. We also present a full financial report at our Annual General Meeting each year, held during the month of March, to which all are welcome. The Trustees are all volunteers, which keep our administrative expenditure low compared to other charities. The current chairman Stuart Arundel is an ex deputy Station officer at Donna Nook Coastguard: the the Vice Chairman is a serving CRO at Withernsea so still able to communicate to those who need assistance.
Many of the circumstances in which we have been asked to help are very personal and sensitive so details remain totally confidential, but some of the situations in which where help has been given include:
- Assisted a young family during hospitalisation of mother.
- Assisted family with expenses back and forth for hospital visits.
- Flowers sent to members in hospitals and to homes.
- Helped pay for repairs and decoration to home of elderly widow.
- Financed an Orthopedic mattress for a couple in need.
- Payment for a downstairs toilet and heating for an elderly widow.
- Electric scooter for a Serving Coastguard Officer with cancer.
- Financial aid to assist buying an automatic car for serving officer’s wife suffering from cancer.
- Financial aid to wife of a serving officer suffering from cancer for hotel accommodation at nearby hospital.
- Paid funeral expenses for young widow of Auxiliary Coastguard.
There are many other cases over the past thirty-nine years and we hope with your help we will be able to assist many more over the coming years.
The CGA has the full support and blessing of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Have a look at these related posts
HM Coastguard was officially started on the 15th January 1822 – you can read all about it on this HM Coastguard Blog Post.