Rye Harbour lifeboat station benefits from an unusual donation

Lifeboats News Release

A familiar sight on the streets or in the shops of our towns and cities is that of an RNLI volunteer, complete with collecting bucket

Jason Reynolds stands behind a display of RNLI fundraising flags moments after handing over a donation of £100

RNLI/KT Bruce

Jason Reynolds delivering the £100 cheque to the RNLI stand at the Rye Market

It is wonderful that so many passers-by will make a contribution and pass on a few words of encouragement. Such giving is a vital part of the effort to support the charity that Saves Lives at Sea and helps to enable our lifeboat stations to operate day-by-day, year-in, year-out.

But it takes a special impulse to be proactive about raising money for the RNLI. Jason Reynolds, currently a chef at Rye’s burger restaurant The Hoof, recently presented a cheque for £100 to Rye Harbour lifeboat station volunteers at the town's weekly market. This is the story behind that gift.

Jason is by birth a Londoner (Boreham Wood) and from childhood days two of his passions have been cooking and drawing. The first of these developed into a career: catering college in Aylesbury followed by wide experience in restaurants along the south coast – in Bournemouth, on the Isle of Wight and with Rick Stein in Padstow, for example. He had been visiting Rye since childhood and 'fell in love with it,' he explained, so that many years later it became an obvious destination for him and partner Jo.

Meanwhile he had never stopped drawing and painting, perhaps inheriting the skill from his mother, who was a graphic designer. 'I love starting with that plain sheet of paper and then filling it,' he said. Often drawing would be the best way to wind down after a busy day in the kitchen. Jason is a self-taught artist but has enjoyed success selling his work on Facebook, and a website is in preparation.

'I love going down to the Harbour,' he remarked. 'Drawing the old boat house I was thinking about the Mary Stanford story and everything that today's volunteer lifeboat crews do for us.' The result, after auctioning the picture, was the £100 cheque for RNLI Rye Harbour.

This month marks the RNLI's Mayday fundraising campaign focused on crew kit. It would be great if Jason's example inspired others to find their own ways to raise funds for the RNLI.

RNLI Media contacts

· Martin Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 martinthebruce@gmail.com

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland.

Jason Reynolds sits at his drawing table at home working on his latest picture

RNLI/KT Bruce

Jason Reynolds at work on his latest pen and ink drawing
Jason stands in his garden at home

RNLI/KT Bruce

Jason Reynolds relaxing at home

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

Categories