Ross, who agreed in 2010 to become the figurehead for an innovative RNLI fundraising drive entitled ‘The Brawn Lifeboat Challenge’, is set to visit Chiswick RNLI lifeboat station on Thursday to take part in naming ceremonies to welcome two new E-class search and rescue lifeboats to the River Thames. The first lifeboat will be named Brawn Challenge.
‘The Brawn Lifeboat Challenge’ involved 10 teams from some of the UK’s leading businesses pitting their entrepreneurial wits against each other in an 8-month fundraising battle to raise the £350,000 cost of a new lifeboat. The individual teams pitched their fundraising strategies to Ross, who offered advice and motivation to ensure that collectively they smashed the fundraising target – raising a total of £360,000.
“I have been lucky enough to work on exciting projects in the world of motorsport,” said Ross ahead of the Thursday’s ceremony, “but this was a project that will, quite simply, save lives. I have long been an RNLI supporter. But, like many people, I was surprised when I first learned that there were lifeboats on the Thames. My previous experiences of this charity had been watching the lifeboat plunge down the slipway into the sea at Padstow in Cornwall.
But I found out how busy the lifeboat crews are here in the city. I spoke to them and realised how important it is that we have well-equipped, trained people here. I also realised that the Thames has its own hazards and challenges, and that you need a very specific kind of lifeboat to go to the rescue on this river.
So I really want to take the opportunity to single out the people who worked so hard to raise the funds needed. Raising £350,000 in just eight months was always going to be a tough ask. But these teams took up the challenge, and exceeded that target – with their creativity, determination and superb teamwork. Thank you once again to everyone involved”.