Sidmouth Lifeboat’s fundraising shop is unlikely to reopen this year prompting the crew to urge the community to support the service in different ways – through its 2021 calendar.
Because COVID-19 social distancing would be ‘impossible’ in the small shop, on The Esplanade, Sidmouth Lifeboat said the premises was ‘unlikely’ to open again in 2020, meaning a loss of ‘vital’ funds.
The Sidmouth Lifeboat 2021 calendar, featuring 12 different images by photographers Kyle Baker, Mark Diffey and Chris Pettitt, is on sale for £7, to include postage.
The calendars were printed a few weeks before the coronavirus lockdown began.
A Sidmouth Lifeboat spokeswoman said income from the small shop in the boathouse contributes to the service’s running costs.
She said: “As many residents will know, the small shop in the Lifeboat Station at the eastern end of The Esplanade plays a vital role in raising funds to help keep Sidmouth’s independent lifeboat in service.
“In common with most businesses in the town, the shop is presently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The cramped space in the shop, which makes social distancing impossible, coupled with the mature age of the volunteers who staff the shop, means that it is unlikely to re-open this year.”
The town’s sea safety service is self-funded by the Sid Valley community, Friends of Sidmouth Lifeboat, and is independent of the RNLI charity.
Every penny raised is ploughed back into the lifeboat service, training the volunteer crew, maintaining the boat and funding equipment.
The lifeboat and crew are on-call 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, covering around 150 square miles of sea between Axmouth and Budleigh Salterton.
To buy the calendar and pay by card, see here.
To pay by cheque of BACS, email the treasurer at: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Sidmouth Lifeboat Calendar. Indicate how you would like to pay in your email and include your name, address and phone number.