Littlehampton lifeboat crew members support The Mayday Mile fundraising campaign

Lifeboat crew at Littlehampton RNLI are supporting The Mayday Mile by running and cycling to raise money for the charity.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 3:50 pm

Hannah Presgrave is running in nine different 5k events this month, dressed in full lifeboat kit, while Bea Homer and her partner Ian Foden will be cycling 100 miles together.

Hannah, RNLI community manager and Littlehampton lifeboat crew member, said: “Across the south east, there are walks, runs and cycle events being organised as part of the Mayday fundraising initiative.

“On May 29 at 10am, the Littlehampton shore and boat crews, fellow volunteers and many of our supporters will take part in a 5km run. There are also other events running throughout the month.”

Hannah Presgrave is running in nine different 5k events this month, dressed in full lifeboat kit. Picture: RNLI/Beth Brooks

Crew members are continuing the well-established tradition of raising money for the charity dedicated to saving lives at sea and in Bea’s case, her efforts have spanned more than 30 years.

She proudly provided proof of her support by holding up her fundraising certificate from May 1988 in front of Littlehampton inshore lifeboat, Ray of Hope.

Bea, who volunteers as shore crew, raised £15.55 through a sponsored walk on that occasion.

This time, Bea will be running 5k as well as joining Ian, one of the boat crew, on the cycle ride from Littlehampton to HMS Victory in Portsmouth and back.

Bea Homer proudly holds her fundraising certificate from 1988 in front of one of Littlehampton's lifeboats. Picture: RNLI/Beth Brooks

Hannah said: “It’s incredible that Bea has held on to her certificate from 1988 and we’ll be running together supporting the RNLI’s charity event.”

Hannah, a volunteer crew member for seven years, will in fact be running 45km in her full lifeboat kit throughout May at nine locations and has already done Crowthorne, Emsworth, Farnham and Godalming. Selsey, Portsmouth, Shoreham, Basingstoke and, of course, Littlehampton are still to come.

Her distinctive yellow and black all-weather crew kit includes a helmet, boots and gloves, which may be perfect for answering emergency calls on Littlehampton RNLI’s busy lifeboats but are far from ideal for running long distances.

Hannah said: “So, we all know you get natural born runners in life. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not one. I’ve decided to take on a mega challenge this year. I’m running nine 5km runs within the south east to make it a marathon in May.

The RNLI fundraising certificate Bea Homer received in 1988 after raising £15.55 through a sponsored walk

“If this wasn’t bad enough, I will be running in my crew kit, too – so it’s going to be hot. Any money you can spare will make a huge difference to our soon to be busiest summer yet.”

Hannah has set a target of £1,000. Visit themaydaymile.rnli.org/fundraising/hannahs-mayday-marathon to support her.

Bea and Ian have set a target of £515.55 - £500 plus £15.55 to match the money Bea raised in 1988.

Bea said her first sponsored event was a walk and this time, she may consider adding sea swimming to the running and cycling to make it a triathlon, if there is enough support.

The annual Mayday campaign is a call for help. Usually, RNLI lifesavers answer mayday calls and go to rescue others but with a busy summer on the way, the charity needs help and The Mayday Mile is a way to answer the call.

They are encouraging others to join them on their quest. Anyone can raise money for the RNLI throughout May by creating their own events @maydaymile.