FUNDRAISERS for the RNLI looked back on an ‘extremely good’ year and even changed the group name at their recent AGM.

Members of the Lyme Regis and Charmouth RNLI Guild met earlier this month to share the news that they had raised nearly £67,000 for the charity last year, their plans for a better than ever Lifeboat Week at Lyme Regis and to vote on a change of name.

After decades as a guild, volunteers – who form the fundraising branch of the RNLI – are now members of the Lyme Regis and Charmouth Lifeboat Supporters Group.

Chairman Ken Lavery said the title of RNLI guild ‘does not tell people what we are about’.

Members voted for the name change and are now planning an open day at the lifeboat station in a bid to raise the profile of the group and attract new members.

Mr Lavery praised a ‘superb’ committee and said plans were now under way for a better that ever Lifeboat Week with many old and new events.

Treasurer Brian Cursley reported that the group had raised a total of £66,806 for the lifesaving charity during 2018, including £35,152 during Lifeboat Week.

He said: “It has been an extremely good year and all down to our volunteers.”

Attendees heard that takings at the lifeboat shop on the Cobb totalled £138,203 and had been the best performing RNLI shop not attached to a museum or visitor experience centre.

Nick Marks, lifeboat operations manager, told members that the volunteer crew had answered 40 emergency calls during the year, with most involving missing people, people cut off by the tide and broken-down boats.

Mr Marks said that because there are locations between Lyme Regis and Golden Cap where the lifeboat could not be beached, crew members had to swim ashore to reach people in trouble.

He said the question of getting an additional, much smaller boat for use in these situations was being investigated.

The guest speaker was Steve Hockings-Thompson, coxswain with the RNLI at Exmouth.

He described the qualities if the £2.3million Shannon class lifeboat now stationed at Exmouth, which is due to make an appearance during Lifeboat Week, which returns from July 27 to August 3.