Lifeboat stations across Cornwall have received a total of £14,000 in grants from a supermarket chain.

Falmouth, Penlee, Rock and St Ives Lifeboat Stations received the funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, enabling them to make improvements ranging from training the crews to maintaining their boats.

Maintenance can cost more than £400,000 each year, so Cornwall’s RNLI needs ongoing donations in order to carry on its essential work.

Ben Black, RNLI fundraising manager, said: “We’re very grateful to Tesco for this money. We rely on donations so we can continue saving lives at sea 365 days a year.

“The RNLI continues to be made up of 95 per cent volunteers, and we are proud to be celebrating our 195th birthday in 2019. We want to continue offering this vital lifesaving service along Cornwall’s coast, which is only made possible with donations such as this and support from the generous public.”

In addition to the lifeboat stations, a number of other charities in Cornwall received a combined £25,000 worth of Tesco funding.

Bags of Help, which is administered by the charity Groundwork, sees money awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. In 42 seaside towns during May and June, customers voted for coastal projects nominated by groups working around the coasts of Britain to receive funding.

Rhodri Evans, Tesco’s communications manager for the South West, said: “We are very proud of the impact Bags of Help has had in communities across Britain. The funding scheme responds to the needs of local communities, which is why in Cornwall we listened to colleagues and customers and decided to dedicate a round to groups and charities working on projects around the county’s famous coastline."

To date, Bags of Help has provided more than £80million to more than 27,000 community projects across the UK.

Customers cast their Bags of Help votes for local good causes by using blue tokens handed out at checkout points in their local store.

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, said: “Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down Britain to improve their local spaces and the places that matter to them. We’re pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to groups enjoying, protecting and improving Britain’s coastlines.”

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