Helping out, even so far from sea

“You’re a long way from the sea!” are words often heard by volunteers collecting for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge.

RNLI Todmorden Branch Secretary Heather Blenkey’s usual response is to say that those least familiar with the sea are often those who can easily underestimate its danger.

She says: “The volunteer crew that pulls someone out of danger doesn’t ask where they come from.

“People here are extremely generous towards the RNLI.

“Once again this year, despite difficult economic circumstances for many people, our Flag Day resulted in a collection of about £816.

“Together with recent collections made at Morrison’s Rochdale Road store and Gordon Riggs Garden Centre total donations this year from people in the Upper Valley have reached almost £1,580.”

Heather added: “We may be a long way from the sea, but I think many people realise and appreciate what fantastic life-saving work is done by the RNLI, including beach lifeguards looking after coastal holidaymakers, and by inflatable launches during serious inland flooding.

“People will often tell us that ‘we are doing a good job collecting for the RNLI’ but our efforts are pretty minor compared to those who put their own lives at risk to help others.

“We are pleased to do our bit and are delighted that local people always find a way to support the RNLI so generously.”

Although inland, Todmorden has a long history of supporting lifeboats, stretching back more than a century.