Happisburgh and Mundesley coastguards raise £2,000-plus for good causes

Back row, from left: Coastguard team members Christon Iliffe, Keith Griffin, Craig Nichols , Marcus

Back row, from left: Coastguard team members Christon Iliffe, Keith Griffin, Craig Nichols , Marcus Taylor, Sam Baggaley and Trevor Hole. Front: Steve Scott, Joel Connor-Saunders and Tonya Knights. Picture: RAY BAGGALEY - Credit: Archant

Coastguards in north Norfolk have splashed out in more ways than one to boost two good causes.

The Happisburgh and Mundesley Coastguard teams during their epic raft race across the Norfolk Broads

The Happisburgh and Mundesley Coastguard teams during their epic raft race across the Norfolk Broads. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Supplied

The Happisburgh and Mundeseley teams held a fun day on home territory and then staged a raft-race marathon across the Broads, raising £2,240 which members have split evenly between two charities.

Half of the total was donated by the Mundesley-based Muleslia Masonic Lodge, through a hog roast held at the home of lodge director of ceremonies Ray Baggaley, whose son Sam is a coastguard.

Fund-raisers gathered at Walcott's Lighthouse pub to present cheques to Steve Scott, representing the national charity Scotty's Little Soldiers, and Tonya Knights, of Coltishall-based Let's Do it Anyway.

Mr Scott said their cash would go towards holidays, counselling, driving lessons and further education for children who have lost a parent, killed while serving in the British armed forces.

Let's Do It Anyway aims to empower and include people. The cash will go to 19-year-old wheelchair user Joel Connor-Saunders.

Joel, of Wordsworth Road, Norwich, described himself as an 'adrenalin junkie' who had already done a skydive.

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He plays wheelchair basketball at national level and now wants a sports wheelchair, costing more than £3,000, so that he can become the first person in Norfolk to learn and perform wheelchair motocross (WCMX).

Keith Griffin, coastguard station officer, and Christon Iliffe , coastguard rescue officer, said October's raft race had seen a team of about 16 paddle 54 miles over three days from Wroxham to Great Yarmouth, finishing in Norwich. Their raft was two aircraft fuel tanks strapped together.

To publicise the event the coastguards staged a summer fun day at the Lighthouse pub, plus a raft race on Walcott seafront and a lifeboat display.

'We wanted to show that we're not all about bad times and rescuing people,' said Mr Iliffe.

'We wanted people to see us smile, and to show that we're part of the community, and their friends.

Mr Griffin said the fun day, the first held by any coastguard team, had proved so popular that it would be staged again next year.