Monday 27 June, a No Cycling Day: Sorry Fondo, you’ll have to stay in the cupboard under the stairs today. But it’s a lovely cupboard, made of glass bricks.
I can now confirm, Poole really is the centre of the RNLI Universe. At every Lifeboat Station visited so far, at least one of the crew has sung the praises of the new (2004) RNLI College, where most of them have been for at least some of their training. Not only are there fantastic facilities for such training, the accommodation is so good that it is considered by many as the finest hotel in Poole. If you time it right, you (yes even you) can book a room here. If you’re ever in the area, I would thoroughly recommend it. While you’re at it, book a tour of the college. You will not regret it. Here is the link, if you require further temptation. On that note, I won’t spoil it by banging on too much about the experience. They have a very ethical philosophy too (environmentally, ecologically, health, well-being) but most impressively, the policy of using the best equipment and components for training and in service, from yellow wellies to the manufacture and maintenance of their Lifeboats. “Hang on …” I hear you thinking “… isn’t that a bit extravagant for an organisation funded entirely from voluntary contributions?” Well, no. The vast majority of Lifeboat crew members are volunteers who go out in all conditions, putting their own lives on the line to save the lives of others. They deserve and need the best and most reliable kit. And to make the most of it, professional training.
It might also appear to some of us, seeing such fantastic facilities here and in some of the great new Lifeboat Stations around the coast, that the RNLI has loads of spare cash sloshing around. Not so. If the big bequests and equally important drip feed of regular public contributions stopped today, the RNLI would grind to a halt very quickly. I don’t think Boris, or whoever will be leading our Government, will be in a position to bale out the Lifeboats. Let’s face it, would we really want them to take the helm?
If you’d like to support my fundraising challenge, please click here , where every pound raised will go directly to the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea. Thank you. Steven.