Buoyed up by award nomination

A 12-year-old schoolgirl who has raised thousands of pounds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution has been nominated for a special award. Victoria Rose, of Hillcrest, Stevenage, became fascinated with the RNLI when she was just two years old after v

A 12-year-old schoolgirl who has raised thousands of pounds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution has been nominated for a special award.

Victoria Rose, of Hillcrest, Stevenage, became fascinated with the RNLI when she was just two years old after visiting Filey lifeboat station in Yorkshire.

Since then she has raised between £5,000 and £7,000 for the organisation, which relies on donations to meet its £105m annual running costs.

Now Victoria's hard work has been recognised with a nomination for a Stevenage Young People of the Year award, which aims to reward young unsung heroes.


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The dedicated youngster raises money at fetes, through street collections and boxes which she distributes to family and friends.

All her spare money goes into a box, including money raised from selling toys.

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Over the years she has personally collected enough cash to kit out three lifeboat crew members at a cost of £440 each.

Since her first visit to a lifeboat station 10 years ago, Victoria has been to around 30 stations across the country and keeps in touch with them.

Mum Linda, who nominated her, said: "She has contacted the crew at Tower Hill, London, on Christmas Day before opening her presents.

"Victoria's bedroom resembles an RNLI shop, with all the goodies she has bought and memorabilia she has been given."

As a member of the RNLI's Stevenage committee, Victoria helps promote the organisation in the town and surrounding areas.

She is also a Guide and has arranged for her unit, the 15th Stevenage URC Guides, to have an event this month which will raise money for the RNLI.

As Filey has become a regular holiday destination the family have got to know the crew and shop staff quite well.

"I just like the fact that the RNLI does a good job of saving lives. Filey is my favourite lifeboat station because it's the first that I visited," Victoria said.

Barry Robson, the full-time coxswain mechanic at Filey, who is responsible for the 25-strong crew who can be called out at any time of day and night, has taken Victoria out on short trips as a thank-you.

He said: "She is very clued up and helps the women in the shop when she comes here on holiday.

"She helps fund-raising when she can - not many people do that on holiday.

"Victoria is an inspiration to others. We wish we had more like her."

* The Stevenage YOPEY is open to young people who are positive role models and give to others. They should be aged 10-25 and live, work or study in Stevenage or the surrounding area. Log on to www.yopey.org to nominate someone or ring 0845 838 2640 for an entry form. The deadline for entries is Monday, January 8 and an awards ceremony will be held in February.

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