RNLI to celebrate 130 years since first charity street collection in Manchester

The RNLI is to recreate its first-ever charity street collection to celebrate 130 years of charity fundraising and lifesaving. 

The event, organised by the Manchester RNLI fundraising branch, will be held on 9 October 2021 in St Anne’s Square and will feature a lifeboat, seaside snacks, and sea shanties. 

Alex Doig, chair of the Manchester fundraising branch, said: “Manchester is the birthplace of street donations and that’s something to be really proud of. 

“The anniversary will be about celebrating the strength of the link between the city and the sea. 

It’s only through our volunteers’ time, charitable donations and the support of local communities and businesses that our crews can do what they do.”

A picture from the original event, which began with a parade of a horse-drawn lifeboat being towed through the streets of Manchester.

The lifeboats’ charity was founded in 1824 and primarily runs thanks to the efforts of volunteers to save lives at sea. 

The event will honour the original event in October 1891 which, as the world’s first-ever charity street collection, changed the future of fundraising forever. 

It was organised after 27 men died trying to rescue survivors from the German barque Mexico and was attended by 30,000 people, raising over £5000 for the cause (equivalent to £250,000 today). 

‘Lifeboat Saturdays’ became an annual fundraising event in Manchester and, by 1895, over 90 towns and cities in the UK had joined in.

Now 130 years on, RNLI crews from Lytham St Annes will celebrate the city of Manchester’s contribution to saving lives at sea and remember those who have given their lives.

Lytham St Annes Shanty Crew will play throughout the day and attendees will be able to view historical artefacts and exhibitions.

The RNLI will recreate this photo from the original event. 

The event will be held from 9 am to 5 pm in St Anne’s Square on Saturday 9th October 2021. 

For more information, visit the RNLI website:

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