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Volunteering at Hillsborough Oyster Festival

The Hillsborough Oyster Festival took place from 1 - 4 September with support from a large number of volunteers.

The nominated charity this year was the RNLI and proceeds from the tickets from the fashion show, gala ball and soap box derby will be donated to the charity, to fund crew training across all the lifeboat stations in Northern Ireland – there are currently 9 of these stations in NI.

There are 43 Lifeboat Stations around the coast of Ireland providing a ring of safety up to 100 nautical miles off shore.  2010 was busy year for volunteer lifeboat crews, who launched 1,002 times and rescued 1,094 people in Ireland in 2010.  The busiest lifeboat station last year was Enniskillen, where the crews on Lough Erne launched 64 times and rescued 82 people last year. The next busiest stations in Northern Ireland were Bangor and Portrush which launched 36 times each and brought 82 people to safety.

Helping out at the event was Gina Biggerstaff. "I helped out at the festival as a fundraising volunteer for RNLI – at the Viva la Glam fashion show, Pirates of the Caribbean gala ball and at the soap box race and also volunteered for the two seater soap box go-kart race driven by the fire service. I really enjoyed helping to raise money for such a worthwhile cause – this is an event I usually attend anyway with my family so it made sense to help out where I could.  I had lots of fun and the definite highlight was getting to ride in a soapbox – my two children were so jealous!"

RNLI are on course to raise at least 15,000; the final total will be known in a few weeks.