All aboard: Rallying call for Lifeboat Guild volunteers

A NEW wave of volunteers is being sought to help continue the fundraising of the Saddleworth Ladies Lifeboat Guild.

In the last six years, the dedicated fundraisers have amassed £150,000, including a record £26,000 in 2015, for national charity RNLI, which helps to save lives at sea and also inland during floods.

The Guild’s ever popular cream tea

They have been led in their endeavours by chair Joan Halkyard, who is now passing on her position at the helm after more than 10 years.

Joan said: “It is a very hard working team but we are aging so we need younger volunteers to keep moving us forward.

“I’ve been chair for over 10 years now and it’s time for someone else to take it on.

“I am happy to work with whoever succeeds me to show them what’s involved.”

Also standing down is Maxine Bell, the Guild’s long-serving secretary of eight years.

The chairman and secretary are both key figures in the Guild, which has a dedicated committee and around 40 members.

Tasks include organising fundraisers include coffee mornings, a theatre night, Manchester Ship Canal Cruise, Open Garden events, a Cream Tea, Morecambe Bay Walk, Annual Lunch, and a quiz night.

The success of their events is bolstered by support of local businesses including donations of raffle and auction prizes, and sponsorship.

Anyone interesting in taking on either role, or just joining as a volunteer, can come along to meetings to see what’s involved.

Committee meetings are held every four to six weeks, depending on upcoming events, and their AGM is in January, when the vacant positions must be filled.

Joan added: “We are very successful and have been doing well for a long time.

“We hope we can attract some more volunteers to help us continue this.

“We are called a Guild, which means a group of ladies, but we are open minded to welcoming everyone. In fact, our treasurer is a man, David Haines, and he has been helping for many years!”

This year has been as fruitful as ever for the Guild, who have raised £3,500 so far, including £1,750 at last month’s annual popular Cream Tea at the Civic Hall in Uppermill.

And another £5,000 could be added to the pot when sponsorship money is finalised from the Morecambe Bay Walk.

Almost 50 people stepped out in aid of the RNLI as part of a group of around 500 led by Cedric Robinson, Queen’s Guide to the Sands, on the ancient walk from Arnside to Kent’s Bank.

The next event for the Guild is their Annual Luncheon on Sunday, September 23 at The White Hart, Lydgate, doors open 1pm for 1.30pm lunch.

Then they have coffee mornings on Wednesday, October 24 at Uppermill Methodist from 10am to 12noon and on Saturday, November 3 at Delph Methodist from 10am to 12noon.

They finish the year with a Quiz Night on Friday, November 16 at The Royal George, Greenfield, 8pm start.

For more details about the Guild, offers of help or donations, or event tickets, get in touch with members of the committee or call chairman Joan Halkyard on: 01457 875375.

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