Charity reports 2,000% donations spike after it's abused for saving lives
Right wing agitators who attacked a life saving charity were left all at sea – as the tide of opinion turned on them.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has had the best possible response to abuse it received for rescuing migrants in the English Channel.
After being attacked by failed right wing parliamentary candidate Nigel Farage and having its crews subjected to vile abuse, the RNLI released a video (below) showing its search and rescue volunteers at work.
The video went viral - clocking up more than 150,000 engagements and about 2.5 million views – and the charity said it saw a 2,000% increase in donations in 24 hours.
Meanwhile, messages of support and volunteer enquiries poured in.
Farage had accused the charity of offering a “a taxi service for illegal immigration” for carrying out its life-saving mission. Subsequently, there were reports of crews being abused by members of the public.
But the RNLI met the attacks head-on.
Jayne George, RNLI fundraising director, said: “We are overwhelmed with the huge level of support we have received in the last couple of days. This was never a fundraising campaign – we simply wanted to tell the story of our crews and make it clear that our charity exists to save lives at sea. Our mission is to save every one. Our supporters’ kindness means so much to us. Without them we could not save lives at sea; every one is a lifesaver.”
The charity’s stance received high profile backing, with TV presenter Gary Lineker among those tweeting his support, as did Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Anti-racism group Hope Not Hate launched a campaign called #WeStandWithRNLI.
The organisation’s Nick Lowles said: The RNLI are heroes and their selfless service around the coast is something we should all be grateful for.
“This needs saying now because of a vile campaign to demonise people who are seeking to cross the channel in search of safety and a better life. Some far right activists and media bigmouths are so determined to make people angry about these people that they’ve even attacked the RNLI for rescuing people at sea when they’re in trouble.
“It’s disgusting and we can’t let it go unanswered. That’s why we’re saying we stand with the RNLI.”