Hopes sailing high for fundraiser

The Hull-based Sailors’ Families’ Society is hoping for a near £30,000 fundraising boost from its annual sportsman’s lunch being held in East Yorkshire today.

With the event at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Willerby, selling out weeks ago there will be a record attendance of 424.

Former racing driver Tommy ‘Tiff’ Needell, who has played the role of the Stig on TV’s Top Gear programme, will be the guest speaker.

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Auction prizes include a day’s trip on the mine hunter HMS Grimsby and a drive with the Stig.

Bill Waddington, director of sponsors Williamsons Solicitors, said that the strong support was timely.

“Because of the economic situation there have been an increased number of calls for help from seafarers’ families,” he said. “Helping the families of those who go to sea, some of whom will have suffered bereavement, is an excellent cause that deserves everyone’s support.”

The society, which operates nationally, is celebrating its 190th year. Deanne Thomas, chief officer, said it’d be a tall order to beat last year’s total of £30,000, but the money would go to good use, because of increased demand.