Charity mail promotion is criticised

07/09/15. TSPL Shift.  Campaign to save the RNLI Lifeboat station at St Abbs in Berwickshire. The St Abbs Lifeboat Station is to close tomorrow. Lifeboat crew members picture here from L to R,  Ian Wightman and Andrew Redden with Euan Gibson Camapign manager. Picture Ian Rutherford.
07/09/15. TSPL Shift. Campaign to save the RNLI Lifeboat station at St Abbs in Berwickshire. The St Abbs Lifeboat Station is to close tomorrow. Lifeboat crew members picture here from L to R, Ian Wightman and Andrew Redden with Euan Gibson Camapign manager. Picture Ian Rutherford.

The RNLI has apologised after sending out promotional material listing the Berwickshire lifeboat station it shut down last year as being run by the charity.

The St Abbs lifeboat station - where campaigners have been raising funds for an independent lifeboat station since September last year - was shown on a map of RNLI stations on printed on an envelope.

The charity has declined to reprint the material as it would be ‘uneconomic’.

The St Abbs campaigners posted on Facebook earlier this week: “Many of you will have received an envelope from the RNLI recently which shows St Abbs Independent Lifeboat as being an RNLI lifeboat station.

“Apart from the distress this has caused locally, we believe such incorrect information could have a negative affect on fundraising.

“We have asked the RNLI to withdraw the factually incorrect material immediately and reissue a correct one.”

A spokesman for the RNLI responded: “The RNLI sent out an incorrect map of lifeboat stations in Scotland in a recent communication.

“The charity apologises for any distress caused by this mistake which was made through human error.”

They stressed: “The mailshot was not asking for money and the RNLI will not be reprinting the communication and resending it out as this would be an uneconomic use of our funds.”

The St Abbs campaigners called on their supporters to make sure the RNLI release does not obscure the facts.

They urged: “Can everyone please make sure that if they have friends,neighbours or family who have received this letter, that they are made aware that we are an independently run and, more importantly,an independently funded lifeboat.

“Having spoken to other independent lifeboats around the UK,they have stressed that this is one of the biggest hurdles they face, and is a crucial issue.”

Meanwhile, work on the historic lifeboat station in St Abbs harbour continues ahead of the arrival of the new lifeboat later this year.

Construction has been progressing on the cradle which will hold the new boat, due to be delivered to the village by the end of July.

Following the removal of the RNLI’s lifeboat from St Abbs, campaigners set themselves an initial target of £500,000 to bring back an independent rescue service to the village.

They received a massive boost when Boyd Tunnock, of the famous biscuit making family, heard about their struggles and donated £25,000.

The new inshore lifeboat in the village, when it arrives, is set to be named after Boyd’s father and late brother, both named Thomas.