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New Chair of The Lifeboat Fund

Clare Parker
Sunday 21 July 2019

Sir Mark Sedwill, Cabinet Secretary, has handed over his position as Chair of The Lifeboat Fund to Jeremy Fleming in an event held at Tower Lifeboat Station on the Thames earlier this month.

During his three and a half years as Chair, Sir Mark has seen the charity achieve a £1.1 million fundraising target for a new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat and he was also pivotal in launching the new Defeat Drowning Together Appeal, which aims to support the RNLI’s prevention work over the next 3-5 years.

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, welcomed both to Tower Lifeboat Station and presented Sir Mark with a photo provided by the RNLI Heritage team, of Lifeboat Civil Service No.3, Greater London, which was funded by The Lifeboat Fund and assisted with the evacuation of Dunkirk.

Mark Dowie said:

‘As the RNLI’s longest-standing partners, it was a pleasure to welcome Chairman of the Lifeboat Fund, Sir Mark Sedwill, and the incoming Chair, Jeremy Fleming, to Tower. Sir Mark has steered the Fund over the past three-and-a-half years and, in that time, the charity has raised enough to fund a new Shannon class lifeboat, support the shore-works at Wells Lifeboat Station and, with the RNLI, launch the Defeat Drowning Together Appeal. I am looking forward to working with Jeremy in continuing this historic relationship.’

Sir Mark Sedwill said:

‘It has been great to serve as Chair of the Lifeboat Fund for three-and-a-half years and continue The Lifeboat Fund’s proud history of being the largest regular contributor the RNLI. During this time, The Lifeboat Fund embarked on its most ambitious fundraising task to date. We marked our 150th Anniversary by raising £1.1M to fund and name our 53rd lifeboat, a Shannon class, which will be based at Wells-Next-The-Sea in Norfolk.  This was achieved thanks to the valiant efforts of our fundraisers and the generosity of former civil servants who gave incredible gifts as legacies.

‘Recent events mean I have chosen to stand down as Chair of The Lifeboat Fund and it is with a heavy heart that I do. However my successor, Jeremy Fleming, will continue the work of The Lifeboat Fund and I wish Jeremy the very best as he takes the helm of a magnificent charity.’

Jeremy Fleming said:

‘I am delighted to take on the role of Chair of The Lifeboat Fund and thank Sir Mark for all he’s done for the Charity and for the essential work of the RNLI.  I believe the future for The Lifeboat Fund is bright. It has donated millions of pounds to the RNLI to fund lifeboats and Iinfrastructure since inception, thanks to the support of our fundraisers.  With our plan to branch out, we can increase our funding and add to our proud history of helping the RNLI save lives at sea.’