The RNLI hopes for 'good luck' in Manchester on Friday 13 for an historic event

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) will be holding a street collection on Friday 13 May at Manchester Piccadilly Train Station and in the City Centre to raise vital funds for its lifesaving work. The event will be an historic occasion as 2016 marks 125 years since the world’s first ever charity street collection. 

This took place in Manchester in 1891 and was held for the RNLI. RNLI fundraisers will be out in force hoping that 'luck will be on their side' and that people will pop any spare change into their buckets. The collection is part of the charity’s national fundraising event Mayday. It is also the first in a series of collections and events this year to celebrate the 125th anniversary. 

Sophie Wood, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager, said: ‘Our City of Manchester Fundraising Branch will return for a second year to hit the streets and RNLI lifeguards will also be there with some of their rescue kit. We do hope that people will pop along and say “hello”. ‘All the money raised will support the RNLI’s lifesaving work; it could be used to fund crew training, buy new crew kit such as yellow wellies, or contribute towards the training of our specialist flood rescue team.’ 

Sophie added: ‘It’s really exciting that it’s125 years since the first ever charity street collection, which just so happened to be held by the RNLI in Manchester! We’ll be collecting with an extra sense of pride knowing that all the money raised will help to fund a new generation of lifesavers.’ 

The City of Manchester has a special relationship with the RNLI which began in 1891 when the world's first charity street collection took place in the city on behalf of the RNLI. Organised by local industrialist Sir Charles Macara, the collection followed the charity's worst ever lifeboat disaster, when 27 lifeboat men from Southport and St Annes died trying to rescue sailors on the stricken vessel Mexico in 1886. 

The collection raised £5,500 and the money supported the widows and children of the lost crewmen for many years. The event helped lay the foundations of what became central to the RNLI's method of funding its lifeboat service. The RNLI is still looking for extra collectors to help out. Anyone who can spare a couple of hours can contact: Sophie_Wood@rnli.org.uk for more information. 

by Clare Hopps

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