Sonning Village Events - Sonning RNLI Fundraiser

The RNLI is a British organisation that is entirely self-funded, founded in 1824 it celebrated its 190th anniversary on 4 March 2014. It is a registered charity and exists to save lives at sea around the entire British Isles, including the Republic of Ireland. It has manned lifeboat stations, & crews, along the entire coastline of the British Isles. The lifeboats are manned by a permanent marine mechanic, responsible for keeping the boats ready at all times, and a crew who are mainly volunteers. A few team members such as the mechanics, being full time are of course permanently employed & are paid.

How do they manage to fund this? In many towns & villages across the British Isles there are fund raising branches, like ours, each raising what they can. Together with so many other fund raising initiatives we raise over 100 million pounds every year, which actually equals the current running cost.

The Sonning Branch has been in existence for many years with some of the current committee members having served for over 20 years. To raise money, the local branches have been given a completely free hand & here in Sonning we try to involve the community in our fund raising events. These include an annual summer garden party in June held, by kind permission of the generous owners, in one of Sonning‘s many beautiful, and varied gardens. With a traditional marquee and serving wine & nibbles plus a raffle, it is just a garden party but a most pleasant way to spend a summer evening. We also have our annual music night in February, where we encourage residents to perform some form of music or song. Over the years it has included performers of all ages & all types of instruments, it is always a great success. We try to arrange a third event, which varies from year to year. We recently held a photographic competition, with donated prizes. Many of our local businesses support us with raffle prizes which all helps with our fund raising effort.

If you would like to know more about the local branch of the RNLI, its forthcoming events, or ways in which you can help please ring David Bates on 01189697753 or for more information about the work and aims of the national RNLI please look on their web site at

Our next event will be a Music Evening to be held in February (date to be confirmed) and our Summer Garden Party will be on 13th June 2015.