Eastbourne gets ready to ‘Give a Quid’ to fund Airbourne

The Red Arrows - photo by Graham Huntley.
The Red Arrows - photo by Graham Huntley.

Local Rotary clubs have joined forces to raise funds for Airbourne flying displays and local charities, in this year’s ‘Give a Quid’ campaign.

The campaign, organised by Sovereign Harbour and Hailsham Rotary clubs, will see collectors out in force from mid-afternoon all four days of the airshow, which runs from August 13-16.

“We need every volunteer collector we can get!”

Don Perman of Sovereign Harbour Rotary Club

Joined by volunteers from Eastbourne, Eastbourne AM, Eastbourne Sovereign and Beachy Head Rotary Clubs, residents and visitors are being urged to show their appreciation through donations that will support both future flying displays and local charities.

Last year’s collection raised more than £35,000, the biggest collection in the show’s history, and this year Eastbourne’s Rotary Clubs are calling on even more volunteers in the hope of topping last year’s success.

Collection organiser Don Perman of Sovereign Harbour Rotary Club said, “Last year was a new record, but this year we have some extra collection points and I hope to break that record; accordingly, more than ever, we need every volunteer collector we can get!”

Friends of Eastbourne Hospital, Riding for the Disabled (Eastbourne) and Kent, Sussex & Surrey Air Ambulance are the three charities who will each receive a split of 30 per cent of all proceeds from the collection, with the remainder funding many of the highlights in the flying display programme.

This year’s show is already set to be memorable as the Vulcan makes its final appearance before retiring at the end of the year, and the Blenheim and MiG-15 wow the crowds for the very first time on Super Saturday.

Red Arrows, twilight pyro-aerobatics, fireworks and a performance by chart-toppers Scouting for Girls on the beach, also look set to bring in a bumper crowd.

With more than 70 flying displays over the four days, the cost of keeping Airbourne flying high is increasingly borne by public donations, in order to attract the best displays.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “We want to make sure Airbourne continues to keep our local businesses busy for many years to come.

“The bucket collections really do make a huge difference – without these generous donations we wouldn’t be able to display some of the big attractions that we’ll be seeing in our skies this August.

“The more we can achieve in the buckets, the bigger our flying programme will be for next year!”

Flying displays have also been part funded this year through generous donations by Sussex residents David Dickens, Brian Bunce and Jayne Howard.

Collection boxes will be available on the Western Lawns every day, at the Airbourne Information point on the Wish Tower Slopes, at the Tourist Information Centre and with bucket collectors touring the crowds each afternoon.

Southern Railway have also this year added Eastbourne station as a collection point for the first time, for the many visitors departing at the end of each day.

Local Rotary clubs will also be running stalls with collection boxes in the town centre at Bankers Corner and at Airbourne on the Western Lawns.

Airbourne fans can also support the event by donating online or by purchasing the souvenir programme at just £4 plus P&P, available for pre-order online, or at the Tourist Information Centre and Seafront Office from 7 August.

Airbourne Lottery tickets costing just £1 can also be purchased here for the chance to win a range of prizes including hospitality and a flight with The Blades, with all proceeds supporting future flying displays at the show.

To join the volunteer collection team contact Don Perman on donperman@btinternet.com or telephone 01323 479713.