Packed to the gunnels for RNLI in Sutton Coldfield

9th February 2011

RNLI supporters packed Arthur Terry School Performing Arts Theatre in Sutton Coldfield to the gunnels for its main fund raising event of the year, a ‘Music for All’ concert performed by The Staffordshire Band.

Everyone was welcomed to the concert by Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, who is President of the local branch.

Musical Director and Conductor Huw Thomas, B Mus (Hons) PG DIP directed the Band through a lively and varied programme ranging from works by Lionel Richie to Geldof and Ure, from Nicholas Brodszky to Koenig. There really was something for everyone! The Hall became a mass of bursting paper bags when the audience was invited to join in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture to replicate cannon fire!

Pupils of St John’s Church of England Primary School Choir, Walsall Wood again delighted everyone present with their singing, complete with actions. The choir is made up of pupils between the ages of 7 and 9. They were immaculately presented, very patient throughout the evening and a great credit to their school, performing beautifully. Their teacher and conductor, Louise Gatfield, assisted by Sarah Kirwan, would have had every reason to feel very proud indeed of the pupils’ performance.

The RNLI Sales Table reported a good night with sales of Christmas cards and RNLI gifts. A raffle was also held.

The evening raised £2000. All monies raised go directly to RNLI.

Adele Fuller, Community Fundraising Manager, RNLI Wales and the West in thanking everyone for their support spoke about the RNLI’s volunteering ethos in support of ‘Saving Lives at Sea’. The volunteer crews put to sea in all conditions, at all hours of the day and night. Last year was the busiest in the charity’s 186 years’ history with lifeboats around the coast launching on 9223 occasions rescuing 8235 people. Additionally, lifeguards attended 13591 incidents and assisted 15957 people, being the highest since lifeguards were introduced into the service in 2001.

Andrew Mitchell MP said, \"It is wonderful to see people of all ages contributing to such a worthy course as the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

\"Congratulations to our hard working and dedicated local RNLI team.\"

More details about the activities of the Sutton Coldfield branch can be obtained by telephoning 0121 353 4108.

Photo: Left to right back row: Shaun Elliott, Chairman of The Staffordshire Band, Mike Lorenz and Jill Carter from RNLI Sutton Coldfield branch, Andrew Mitchell MP, Louise Gatfield, Choir Leader at St John\'s C of E Primary School, Walsall Wood, Adele Fuller, Community Fundraising Manager for RNLI in Wales and West

Front row: Pupils from St John’s Church of England Primary School Choir, Walsall Wood