Firms lend a hand to bring Hayling lifeboat station up to date

James Lee, Howdens (Havant) branch manager, shaking hands with Jules Hewson at the RNLI Lifeboat Station, with crew members Randall Roake (far left) and Danny MacPherson
James Lee, Howdens (Havant) branch manager, shaking hands with Jules Hewson at the RNLI Lifeboat Station, with crew members Randall Roake (far left) and Danny MacPherson

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B usinesses have stepped in to help refurbish the museum at Hayling Island lifeboat station.

The attraction describes the history of life-saving on Hayling Island, but has needed updating for some time to cover more recent years.

Alan Barlett, volunteer lifeboat press officer on the island, said: ‘The history of the station museum needs bringing up to the present day.

‘We have from 1924 to 1965 covered well, but not the modern times.’

James Lee, manager at Howdens Joinery Co in Havant, went to the museum to help with the makeover.

He said: ‘Howdens is about local ethos and the community.

‘We’re out to help local charities with goods or cash and in this case the goods were more beneficial.

‘I feel that the RNLI is an undervalued charity, but it is very deserving as it provides a vital service.’

Mr Lee provided materials to enable the lifeboat station to undergo a complete refurbishment worth in the region of £3,000.

Mr Barlett added: ‘James has given us kitchen units and blue worktops to bring the museum in line with other RNLI museums across the UK in terms of colours.’

Sainsbury’s also showed support, handing £250 to the charity.

And shoppers on the island contributed to the cause by putting donations into collection boxes.

Chris Wells, who is the new manager of the supermarket, announced that Sainsbury’s has chosen the RNLI as its charity of the year for a second time in succession.

The forthcoming RNLI May Day Appeal takes place inside the store.

The general public are urged to attend on May 18 to help the charity to save more lives at sea.

In 2009, Hayling Island lifeboat station launched 120 missions rescuing 119 people, making it the sixth-busiest station in the UK and Ireland on that year.

The station’s work continued in 2014 when it made 77 launches and rescued 66 individuals.