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Meet the 5-year-old girl who gave up her birthday presents in lieu of donations to her local lifeboat

PUBLISHED: 15:23 07 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:23 07 June 2018

Darcy with the Sea Palling Lifeboat team. Picture: Sea Palling Lifeboat

Darcy with the Sea Palling Lifeboat team. Picture: Sea Palling Lifeboat

Sea Palling Lifeboat

There's not many four-year-olds who would gladly give up their fifth birthday presents in lieu of donations for their local lifeboat.

Darcy with Gordon the gorilla and her present. Picture: Sea Palling LifeboatDarcy with Gordon the gorilla and her present. Picture: Sea Palling Lifeboat

But that’s exactly what a little girl from north Norfolk has done, as she continues her fund raising quest for the Sea Palling Independent Lifeboat.

Hannah Mewstead is Darcy’s mum, she said: “Darcy’s been obsessed with fund raising for about five months now. We just went to the beach one Sunday and the lifeboat was out doing some training, and she just loves it. Ever since she’s wanted to fund raise for them.”

Darcy invited the lifeboat crew to her birthday party in April, and specifically asked the crew’s mascot Gordon the Gorilla to come along.

“She didn’t care about her friends coming,” joked Miss Mewstead, who lives in Wroxham. “She just wanted Gordon to be there and the crew, she says they crew are all her friends, she loves them.”

Darcy wearing her new present. Picture: Sea Palling LifeboatDarcy wearing her new present. Picture: Sea Palling Lifeboat

Chairman of the Sea Palling Lifeboat association, Mark Skemett, said: “This little girl, who we now know to be Darcy, just started coming in and making donations.

“Then we saw on facebook that she’d had the back of her school fleece embroidered saying ‘Raising money for the Sea Palling Lifeboat’, but we didn’t know anything about it.”

Darcy raised £140 on her birthday.

Mr Skemett, who lives in Stalham added: “We took her a present which was a proper lifeboat helmet with her name on. And of course, we took the gorilla. It was just us and a lot of princesses!”

Darcy's helmet reads her name and age. Picture: Sea Palling LifeboatDarcy's helmet reads her name and age. Picture: Sea Palling Lifeboat

“She doesn’t take the helmet off,” said Miss Mewstead. “She wears it to school, she absolutely loves it. She knows what the lifeboat does because she’s obsessed with watching ‘Saving Lives at Sea’.”

Fund raising runs in the family, with Darcy’s older brother Freddie, 7, raising a large amount of money last year for Alzheimer’s charities.

Mr Skemett continued: “We took her a present along and had someone in our gorilla suit for her birthday. We’re so, so grateful to her. We’re an independent lifeboat so not supported by the RNLI, and every donation is a huge help. She’s always welcome.”

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