A PLASTERER from Bathpool, near Rilla Mill and Upton Cross, is preparing to take on an unusual challenge next month — a sponsored walk, with a twist.

On Friday, March 4, Allan Gafney will walk 16.1 miles on stilts at Davidstow Airfield in aid of the Looe Lifeboat Appeal for a new ‘Ollie Naismith II’ inshore rescue vessel.

Allan is a keen sea angler who has been fishing out of Looe with local charter boat skippers Murray Collings and Dan Margetts. Dan is a volunteer RNLI helm at Looe Lifeboat Station, and whilst out fishing with him, Allan heard about the need to replace the D Class inshore lifeboat ’Ollie Naismith’ and the Looe Lifeboat Appeal. 

In 2010 the D-Class Inshore Lifeboat ’Ollie Naismith’ was officially named and went on service at Looe.

The lifeboat was named after popular local teenager Ollie Naismith who sadly died in a tragic road traffic accident in 2009.

Ollie’s parents, Maxine and John Naismith, spearheaded a fundraising campaign to raise the money required to purchase the lifeboat, which has gone on to save many lives in and around Looe including the life of Louis Webber, a young local lad who was of a similar age to Ollie.

The lifeboat is now coming to the end of its operational life so the team at Looe Lifeboat station have teamed up with the Naismiths and Webber family to launch the Looe Lifeboat Appeal to raise the £78,000 required to provide a replacement lifeboat to be named the ’Ollie Naismith II’.

RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews provide a 24-hour search and rescue service all around the UK and Ireland, while lifeguards keep a careful watch on the UK’s busiest beaches. RNLI lifesaving and drowning prevention depend on supporter fundraising and the generous donations that you and others give.

The public’s donations to this community appeal will help to fund this lifeboat which will continue the selfless work of our volunteer lifeboat crew in Looe.

Allan says that he wanted to help “an amazing cause” and, being a plasterer by trade, came up with the idea of a sponsored stilt walk to raise funds for the new vessel.

Allan lives 16.1 miles from Looe Lifeboat Station and he thought about walking on his plasterer’s stilts from his home to Looe. However, with road safety in mind, he will be walking the 16.1 miles around Davidstow airfield.

To help Allan meet his challenge, please consider making a donation at http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Bathpool2looe