In an emergency call 999 and ask for the Coastguard Whitstable@rnli.org.uk

School visits to the Whitstable RNLI lifeboat have been an increasingly important feature of the station activities, both in getting over the sea safety message to children and young people and in explaining how the charity and its volunteers work.

One school in particular, Hampton Primary School in Herne Bay, has built up a very strong relationship with the station and, over the last few years, its pupils have been regular visitors and enthusiastic fundraisers.

In recognition of their support, the school was recently presented with a framed print and certificate of thanks from the station, and last Thursday pupils returned to the station to make a further donation of monies.

Joanna Quinn, Year 5 Manager, said, “Over the last five years, the Year 5 children have been learning about the RNLI and have been to visit the lifeboat station at Whitstable to bring their topic learning to life.”

“We feel it is so important for the children to learn about the RNLI, as we are a coastal school. Not only do they teach the children about what the amazing charity does for us, but also what the children need to do if they find themselves in an emergency situation out at sea or on the beach.”

“To show our gratitude for the amazing work of the RNLI and all the volunteers, over the last couple of years we have held a giant cake sale to raise money. The children make their own cakes at home and bring them in to sell. The amount of enthusiasm that the children have is unbelievable and they have so much pride in what they sell, they make us all very proud. Last year they raised an amazing £783.45 and last Thursday the Year 5 council members visited the lifeboat again to present the volunteers with a fundraising cheque from this year’s cake sale, which raised another £685.50.”

Whitstable Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Judge, said, “The efforts made by the Year 5 pupils at the school on our behalf have been a fantastic achievement and they can be proud in the knowledge that they have made a valuable contribution, not only to the costs of equipment for the lifeboat and its crews, but also they have gained a valuable insight into the work of the station and RNLI. In addition, they will be able to pass on the RNLI sea safety message of ‘Respect the Water’ to their families and friends. They have done themselves and us an invaluable service and we are most grateful to them”.

Schools and other organisations interested in visiting Whitstable Lifeboat Station can contact Lifeboat Visits Officer David Hayward on 07835 929110