Shannon appeal has made good headway

RNLI mascot Stormy Stan at Sunday's fund-raising coffee morning in Amble.
RNLI mascot Stormy Stan at Sunday's fund-raising coffee morning in Amble.

The Amble Shannon Lifeboat Appeal, whose reign as Jam Jar Army charity will soon end, is sailing towards its overall target of £200,000.

Amble Lifeboat Fundraisers (ALF) are aiming to raise the ambitious total to bring a state-of-the-art Shannon-class lifeboat to the harbour town.

While the appeal has been supported by the Gazette’s fifth Jam Jar Army campaign, more than £80,000 has been raised, which includes around £3,000 collected in jam jars.

This means that as of the end of 2015, the team is nearly three-quarters of its way to the target, having raised £148,000.

ALF chairman Katrina Cassiday said: “With donations and money taken from Sunday’s coffee morning, that should take the total so far to £155,000 – with another £45,000 to go until the £200,000, a fantastic effort in only 18 months.

“That total is due wholly to the fantastic support of the public through the numerous events including the Jam Jar Army, the Amble Lifeboat Fundraisers and the local community.”

The Shannon appeal became the fifth beneficiary of the Jam Jar Army at the end of February last year so its time is nearly up.

People are encouraged to start thinking about returning full or nearly full jars.

They can be dropped off at the Gazette office in Alnwick or Easyway, on Wellwood Street; Rook Matthews Sayer, on Queen Street; and the Fourways 2 building in Amble.

There are a number of events coming up at which the community can offer further support to the appeal.

On Friday, February 12, the five-piece Howard Baker Band is playing at The Bede Street Club, Amble, while the monthly coffee morning takes place on Sunday, February 21, at Amble Lifeboat Station, to include a crew exercise on both lifeboats. An Easter coffee morning takes place on Sunday, March 20, while there’s a ceilidh at the town’s Radcliffe Club on Saturday, April 16. ALF’s AGM is on Wednesday, March 2, at 7pm.

Search for new Army beneficiary starts soon

The search will soon be starting for a new beneficiary for our Jam Jar Army campaign as it looks to march on into 2016 – the sixth campaign since its launch in 2011.

Next week, we will be looking for nominations from across north Northumberland for a local good cause to be the next beneficiary of the community’s fund-raising efforts.

The Jam Jar Army appeal was first launched in May 2011, after author Judith O’Reilly came to us with the idea, and the target of raising £10,000 for HospiceCare North Northumberland was set.

By the end of the year, the appeal, which at its simplest sees homes, shops and other businesses collecting small change in jam jars, had raised more than £13,000.

In 2012, Alnwick Playhouse Youth Theatre won a public vote before our readers then selected dog charity SHAK to receive Jam Jar Army funds in 2013, The Stephen Carey Fund in 2014 and the Amble Shannon Lifeboat Appeal last year. The grand total raised since 2011 is more than £50,000.