Two official charities chosen for Sunderland Tall Ships

Written by on 24th May 2018

The Sunderland Tall Ships Races 2018 has adopted two local nautical organisations as its official charities for the event.

Event organisers have opted to support Sunderland Maritime Heritage and Sunderland RNLI in the run up to – and during – the four-day festival.

It’s hope their official backing will shine a spotlight on the work of the two charities, when the Tall Ships Races come to Sunderland from 11th to 14th July.

Sunderland Maritime Heritage, based at Church Street East, was started in 1999 by a small of team of volunteers, keen to preserve the shipbuilding skills and history of the city.

Sunderland RNLI is the oldest lifesaving operation in Great Britain and the volunteer crew are on call 24/7 to respond to emergencies on the Wearside coast.

First established in 1800, the service was taken over by the RNLI in 1865 and today its two inshore lifeboats operate from the lifeboat station at Sunderland Marina. 

Helen Williams, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, said she was delighted that they were chosen as an official charity. 

“Our partnership with the Tall Ships Races will provide us with a vital platform to share our safety messages with a huge audience. In 2017, Sunderland RNLI launched 69 times and assisted 40 people who found themselves in difficulty as they spent time near the water – typically walkers or fishermen.“ – Helen Williams, RNLI

Official charity status will enable both organisations to feature prominently at the festival, which will be spread across four event zones.

Sunderland Maritime Heritage vice chairman, James Sullivan said he hoped it would raise the profile of the work they do.

“It is very humbling and gratifying to think that we have been given this prestigious recognition for the work we are doing to preserve the maritime and shipbuilding history of Sunderland.” – James Sullivan, Sunderland Maritime Heritage  

As start host port for the Races the city will welcome 56 sailing vessels and their crews along with an estimated 1.5m visitors.

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