Gian Gill, an 11 year old schoolboy from Hansworth Wood in Birmingham, came to the station last night to give us a cheque for £1000.
He became interested in the RNLI, and Weston-super-Mare RNLI in particular, at the end of August last year when he was in Weston on holiday. He saw the lifeboat crew training and was so fascinated that the crew started talking to him and showing him over the lifeboat. He then came down to our Open Day when his enthusiasm was heightened and he decided he wanted to do something to help. He had already joined StormForce the RNLI group for young supporters.
As a result he joined in a walk his father was involved in. It was a postman’s walk over the Black Mountains in Wales which took place last February. Accompanying Gian and helping him raise the money were postmen from Birmingham Central Post office.
When he eventually collected together the sponsorship it came to £1000. Gian then came with his mother Daljit and father Cougar to visit the temporary Lifeboat station. He was shown over one of the lifeboats, a D Class, and sat in the cab of the Softac tractor used for launching.
That night the volunteers of the Weston crew launched all three of their lifeboats in a training exercise to find barrels which had been placed in the sea to allow them to drift away. This was an exercise to train in finding casualties who can drift a long way in the very strong and vicious Bristol Channel tides.
Gian stayed and watched all the boats and we hope thoroughly enjoyed himself. All the casualties ( barrels) were retrieved.
The picture shows Gian standing in the D Class lifeboat with his mother and father. He is handing the cheque to Charlotte Conroy the Weston RNLI Station Lifeboat Operations Manager. Behind the boat are two volunteer crewmen Steve Milsom and Lester Solway.