Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

Published: February 4, 2006
Huge £4,500 boost for Burnham hovercraft from Bristol City Football Club

Burnham-On-Sea hovercraft crew member Simon Triggol accepting the £4,500 cheque from Colin Sexstone of Bristol City Football Club

Bristol City Football Club has given Burnham's Spirit of Lelaina hovercraft a major financial boost by handing over £4,500 to help it continue saving lives along the Somerset coastline.

The football club adopted the Spirit Of Lelaina Appeal - overseen by the Western Daily Press newspaper - as its charity of the year for 2005/6 and on Friday Colin Sexstone, the club's Chief Executive, presented a cheque to hovercraft pilot Simon Triggol (pictured above).

Burnham-On-Sea's Spirit Of Lelaina hovercraftThe cash was raised from collections at home games and donations from the FA Charity Shield, which distributes money to clubs for them to pass on to local charities.

Alan Miller, Chairman of BARB, the charity that runs the hovercraft, said: "This is brilliant news. It was fantastic to hear that Bristol City had adopted us as their charity for the season, but we never expected a huge amount like this."

"The money will go a long way to helping us meet our running costs and also covering some of the costs of getting a new craft."

In January, BARB announced it is to take delivery of a second, smaller hovercraft to work alongside the Spirit Of Lelaina to reach less accessible areas and serve as a training aid. The craft will cost £11,000 and is likely to be in operation this summer.

Colin Sexstone, Bristol City's Chief Executive, said he was delighted to hand over the money, adding: "We like to support local charities and feel this one is very worthwhile."

The Spirit of Lelaina Appeal was launched by the Western Daily Press after five-year-old Lelaina Hall died after becoming trapped in treacherous mud at Berrow beach in 2002. Its readers raised the cash to buy a hovercraft. Having rescued and helped more than 85 people in its first 18 months of service, the craft has proven its worth.

To help the Spirit of Lelaina Appeal, send a cheque to Wendy Best, Special Projects Editor, Western Daily Press, Bristol, Temple Way, Bristol BS99 7HD.


Western Daily Press Spirit Of Lelaina Appeal

Burnham Hovercraft Web site

Bristol City Web site


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