The Little Figures that aren’t there.
103 FM reports
A £2,500 deposit has been put down on the £80,000 Sir Max Aitken III, which is coming over from Great Yarmouth. Chairman of the charity Ben Shenton says it will be months before it can be used in rescues though
“We’ve done quite a lot of work on the boat. When it arrives it will have a new radio and will have had a full going over. But there is still a lot of work to do. We have got to make sure everything is absolutely ship-shape. When it arrives in Jersey it will be taken out of the water for the work to be done.”
The JLA hopes its new vessel will be operational before the end of the year.
The JEP reported
Mr Shenton added that it would be months before the vessel was fully certified for search and rescue operations. And he said that the organisation still needed to buy insurance and crew equipment.
‘It is not just a case of buying a vessel and away you go. We need to have health-and-safety certificates, rescue codes, a training regime and a list of procedures, which can take a massive amount of time,’ he said.
‘Then there is the boat. We need to prove that it is being maintained regularly, our equipment is sufficient, our radio equipment is up to standard – it is just everything you can think of.’
In fact it arrived Tuesday night.
Good luck to the JLA with their new venture. If I may be casting a slightly critical eye, it is just that I would like a bit more information,
For instance, there have been fund raising drives, fund raising events, but where are we with the fund raising to date?
There have been a lot of fund raising events, but very few reports on funds raised. I’ve gleaned two from Facebook but surely funds raised should be a news item on the JLA website too.
“Our Float our Boat lunch raised over £1,400 today towards the JLA funds - Thanks to all who attended and thanks also to all who attended the Bingo evening at St Peter's Community Centre last night which raised over £800.”
“Thanks, to Pub Manager Trevor Curtis, all the staff, and customers at the Wellington Pub, St Saviours Road for raising the amazing amount of £2,200 and to Connétable Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard - for coming along to support us as she has done all the way along on our journey.”
But there have been other events, and no mention of funds raised to date.
When St Aubin on the Hill Church was raising money for new toilets, they put up on the railings outside the church a “fund raising thermometer”. This is a helpful way to keep everybody motivated towards a common goal. Instead of saying ‘we have another £70,000 to raise before we can purchase the boat, a picture not only speak a thousand words, but makes us all motivated to make sure that red line is filled all the way to the top!
But what we don’t know is how far the fund raising towards the £80,000 has gone.
So how have they got the boat coming to Jersey? It is not, I would guess, usual business practice to have an asset used by another party unless they pay the full amount? The only options I can see are (1) a phased payment scheme (2) some kind of loan either bank or private. Or will it be simply the case that it will still be owned by the current owner, but just kept in Jersey until they can pay for it.
Do they actually own the boat yet? If so, how are they paying for it?
And of the extra costs – insurance, crew equipment, annual maintenance – how much are they? Have they a budget?
The UK Charity Commission's guidelines are that a responsible charity (such as the RNLI) has to have enough in the bank to ensure that if all fundraising stopped today they could keep running our crucial service for between 6-12 months. This is prudent. Will the JLA aim towards the same, and if so, how much would they need when their service is up and running to keep going for six months? Do we have any figures yet, even estimates? As there are other independent lifeboat stations, they could probably advise on those costs.
Going back to the St Aubin on the Hill Church Toilets, at every stage the total cost was given, including cost of wheelchair access to the church at the same time, and the funds raised to date were noted on a "thermometer".
I would like to see a fund raising “thermometer” on the JLA website so everyone can see how much has been raised, and how much is still needed.
I have no problem with the JLA having an independent boat, but I would like some better transparency with regard to their finance costs. At the moment, there are too many figures that are missing. There's a lot of good people fundraising for them. Let's have their contribution appreciated.
They are paying for the boat in phased payments
John Baker, Fundraising Manager, The Jersey Lifeboat Association, told me:
"We have plans to put a fundraising thermometer on the web page and also some exciting plans to extend our membership program. A lot of our plans are based on actually getting the Max Aitken III and the crew and backup facilities into service. Considering we first started the JLA charity in February this year I think we have done pretty well, in fact, we have raised over £30,000 so far but now we have the boat we think that donors will be happier to donate to our cause now that they can see something substantial happening. I think to get the boat over here in less than 4 months is quite an achievement for a group of unpaid volunteers"
"We have in fact made a number of substantial payments on the boat but we do need to raise more substantial funds initially not only to complete the purchase but also to fit out the crew and to put more up to date equipment on the boat ."