RNLI Legacy Awareness Week

Monday 10 May 2010

Author: Alison Levett

A Lincolnshire woman whose sister left the Royal National Lifeboat Institution a generous legacy to help save lives at sea is urging people to follow her sister’s example and consider leaving the charity a gift in their Will during the RNLI’s first Legacy Awareness Week.

Jacky Hunsley died aged 49 in a tragic coach accident while on holiday in South Africa in September 1999. Originally from Gainsborough, Jacky was a long-time supporter of the RNLI and left the charity a share of her estate to support the lifeboat service on the North Yorkshire coast, funding a D class inshore lifeboat named in her honour which began operating at Redcar RNLI in 2007.

Legacies like Jacky’s are vital to the future of the RNLI which is why this week, 10-14 May, the charity is holding its first Legacy Awareness Week. Jacky’s sister Pauline Jackson, who lives in Gainsborough, is among those supporting the awareness campaign by speaking out about the importance of legacy giving.

Pauline said: ‘Jacky was my only sister and losing her was a tragedy. However, the family has been able to take real comfort from the fact that her legacy has provided the RNLI with a wonderful lifeboat which we know is helping the charity’s volunteer crew at Redcar to save lives at sea. Her legacy means that some good has come out of her death.

‘I didn’t know much about the RNLI before Jacky died, but I’ve since learnt that six out of ten lifeboat launches are only possible because of legacies like Jacky’s. That’s incredible, and it’s so important for people to realise that leaving even a small amount of money in their Will to the RNLI can make a real difference.’

Pauline officially named the Jacky Hunsley lifeboat in memory of her sister during a special ceremony at Redcar lifeboat station in 2008 and since then has become a dedicated supporter of the charity, helping to set up a new RNLI fundraising branch in Gainsborough.

Throughout this week, the RNLI is urging existing supporters to find out more about how to leave a gift in a Will to the RNLI and to help spread the message to others about the importance of legacy gifts. Volunteers around the country are giving talks about why legacies are vital to the charity while information is being distributed and lifeboat stations are displaying banners to publicise RNLI Legacy Awareness Week.

Louise Barth, the RNLI’s Legacy Manager in the north of England, said that while 35 per cent of people in the UK say they would be happy to leave a legacy to a charity in their will, only seven per cent actually do so*.
She explained: ‘It's a common myth that only the rich and famous leave money to charities when they die. This couldn't be further from the truth and the reality is that without legacies, many charities – including the RNLI – couldn’t operate.
‘We appreciate that most people want to ensure their family and loved ones are cared for first when they are preparing their Will, but even a small amount could fund a vital piece of equipment like a helmet or a lifejacket, leaving a lasting legacy by helping our lifeboat volunteers continue to save lives.’

To find out more about leaving a gift to the RNLI in your Will, contact Louise Barth, RNLI Legacy Manager, North, on 0161 7878779 or at louise_barth@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, for more information go to www.rnli.org.uk/legacies

* TNS 2008 Social for Remember A Charity

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