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North Norfolk teenager comes to the aid of RNLI after station break-in

PUBLISHED: 16:59 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:03 23 August 2018

Lifeboat crew members (from left): Paul Pretty, Paul

Lifeboat crew members (from left): Paul Pretty, Paul "Stretch" Wheatland and Andy Trend modelling some of the bracelets made by 13-year-old Faith Kenny to raise cash for the seafront station. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Archant

A nimble-fingered north Norfolk teenager is using her crafting skills to raise funds for Sheringham lifeboat, after a break-in left the seafront station nearly £3,000 out of pocket.

Thirteen-year-old Faith Kenny takes a turn at the helm of Sheringham lifeboat, with crew members (from left): Paul Pretty, Paul Thirteen-year-old Faith Kenny takes a turn at the helm of Sheringham lifeboat, with crew members (from left): Paul Pretty, Paul "Stretch" Wheatland and Andy Trend. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

When 13-year-old Faith Kenny read on the North Norfolk News website about last week’s incident, which saw thieves force open doors and windows and empty two charity boxes containing an estimated £600, she told her mum Lindsey that she wanted to help.

The youngster then came up with the idea of selling the bracelets she had made from coloured thread over the summer holidays and now has so many orders she is struggling to keep up with demand.

Thirteen-year-old Faith Kenny with some of the bracelets she made to raise funds for Sheringham RNLI.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLThirteen-year-old Faith Kenny with some of the bracelets she made to raise funds for Sheringham RNLI. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

“I asked my mum if I could sell my bracelets, but didn’t really think anyone would want to buy them,” Faith explained. “But she put eight on Facebook and so many people wanted them that I had to start making more.”

Mum-of-five Mrs Kenny said the family was horrified to read about the break-in, which will mean the station paying for up to £3,000 of repairs, as well as added security measures including window grills and CCTV.

“We use the beach all the time,” she added. “We know how valuable the service is and we really appreciate all the work the crew put in, so to think that someone could steal money that could be used to save lives is just awful.”

Since selling her first batch of bracelets, Faith has received orders for more than 100, with people also donating thread and cash and a local gift shop offering to stock them on a permanent basis.

“We were selling them for £1 and I expected to sell about 20, but some people have been paying £5 for them and it has just been getting higher and higher and we have got £171 for the lifeboat so far,” she explained.

Thanking Faith for her efforts, lifeboat mechanic and tractor driver Paul “Stretch” Wheatland said support from the community since the break-in had been “phenomenal”.

“People have really rallied round, I think something like this makes people realise just how important the lifeboat is,” he said. “We have had someone stop us in the street and give us £100 and shops have asked us for collection boxes, it’s just been amazing.

Faith, who is a student at Sheringham High School, has now recruited her mum to help make bracelets and says she plans to branch out into making keyrings.

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