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Red Funnel celebrates raising over £43,000 for Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats

Thu, Nov 3 2022

Yesterday (Tuesday 15th March), Leanna Lakes, Operations Director at Red Funnel, presented a cheque for £43,188.38 to representatives of Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats, to mark the end of the organisations’ 2021 Charity of the Year partnership.

Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats is a collaboration of Freshwater Independent Lifeboat, Sandown & Shanklin Independent Lifeboat and Ryde Inshore Rescue, who submitted a joint application to Red Funnel’s Charity of the Year scheme to support its lifesaving services. The charity collective was elected to the scheme in 2020, but proactively offered to defer its position so Red Funnel could support its runner up charities Monkey Haven and Daisy Chains, who were in more urgent need of funding during the pandemic.

Together, the organisation operates five lifeboats and is on call to the Coast Guard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Its operations often involve helping casualty vessels in need, performing recoveries from cliffs, searching for people or animals in distress, and providing safety overwatch from the water.

The funds will be split across all three charities and will support Freshwater Independent Lifeboat to make modifications to its A75 trailer that will allow for a quicker launch of the lifeboat. They will also be purchasing a hydraulic turntable for more efficient recovery.

Ryde Inshore Rescue has plans to create new public access steps into its shop, and Sandown & Shanklin Independent Lifeboat will be using the funds to train new volunteers and supply new crew with PPE, crash helmets and dry suits. Alongside this, a new GPS will be purchased for the lifeboat, an essential piece of equipment to enable the team to serve the community.

Speaking on behalf of the three charities, Martin Newham, Coordinator at Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats, said: “We are extremely grateful to Red Funnel for putting in extensive effort over the last year to support our commitment to saving lives at sea and along the coastline.”

Leanna Lakes, Operations Director at Red Funnel, said: “We are pleased to have partnered with Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats in 2021 and see our funding make improvements to response times across all the three charities. We’re also excited to see the funding go towards training new crew and add to the charity’s growing list of volunteers who carry out such important lifesaving work.”

Fran Collins, CEO at Red Funnel, added: “As our outgoing Charity of the Year, it has been great to work in partnership with Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats throughout the year as the group continues its commitment to the vital work at sea along the Hampshire and Isle of Wight coastline.”

Young Lives vs Cancer was chosen as Red Funnel’s 2022 Charity of the Year following a public vote earlier this year. Red Funnel will work in partnership with the charity, supporting its ongoing fundraising campaigns. 

Red Funnel will continue help the Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats promote their fundraising initiative Lifeboat Lotto. To find out more visit,


For further information, please contact [email protected] / 02380 382 970

Notes to editors

About Red Funnel
Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and its on board café, ‘ReFuel’.

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Rhythm Tree, The Great, Wight Proms, Cowes Classics, and Walk the Wight as well as a range of community and niche interest events. Red Funnel’s Charity of the Year, 2022 is Young Lives vs Cancer.

For more information, visit