It is probably true to say that your part in Coastwatch is as crucial as any watch keepers. It is our job as volunteers to man the station when required, and it is our job as volunteers to react as our training dictates, when the need arises.
The thing is, to do this costs money; we are a charity after all. This is where you have come in. Not one member of the Portscatho unit is in any doubt; it is because of the wholehearted and generous support of the local population on the Roseland, that we have a Coastwatch team to be proud of.
Your support is crucial to our survival. It is not lightly said; without you we would have neither equipment, nor a station, nor volunteers, to run it all. We have collection pots at several venues on the Roseland and beyond, each of which is generously filled with contributions for us on a regular basis. We are invited to local events where we can have a stall. It gives us the opportunity to be seen, to talk to people, and to hopefully sell some souvenir items.
There is help in other tangible ways. We have local businesses who generously give of their time and help, in ways that are unique to them; and individuals who find ways of supporting our work through their own endeavours.
Recently, new and much needed windows were installed at the lookout. Each window was paid for by a sponsor to whom we will be eternally grateful. There is also help from individuals of all ages.
We have three young brothers who regularly bake and sell cakes for us. The boys are all under 12 years old and have become major contributors to our work. Holidaymakers, too, play their part. Popping in to the lookout for a chat; cheerfully buying a postcard or two; or simply dropping some coins in the collection pot… it all helps and gives support.
Two of my favourite people were the lovely couple walking along the coast path. They came in for a chat after their Golden Retriever drank his fill from the dog bowl that we supply for thirsty pets. While chatting, it came up in conversation that I’d forgotten my own flask.
Nothing more was said and after a few more minutes they carried on walking. To my complete surprise they came back twenty minutes later with a coffee they had bought me from the Hidden Hut. It was a miserable day and I was cold. Now that was a supportive kindness that really touched my heart.
My proudest moments in Coastwatch are when working with the fund-raising team that I am part of. Each of us works tirelessly to find ways to keep the unit in good shape; and each of us is aware of the debt we owe to those who support us.
Hopefully, during the year, we shall see you either at the lookout or at village events. Our stall has our name all over it. We have things to sell; we have donation buckets to fill; and more importantly, there will be us to chat to you and hopefully encourage you, to take the extra step of becoming a coast watcher yourself.
As Christmas comes and a New Year dawns, we are preparing for the coming season. On behalf of all the volunteers at Portscatho Coastwatch there is only one thing for me to say… thank you for your support; it is valued more than you know.