Herald Opinion: A story of optimism amongst the tragedy

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There’s been fair amount of tragic stories to be reported on in Eastbourne and district this week - that’s the way news sometimes breaks and you can’t ignore it.

However, there is one story which stands out as a cry of hope and optimism.

It is the story of Martin Adams, now a successful Eastbourne businessman, who for 30 years has carried with him the awful memory of the drowning of his 13-year-old brother Simon.

Back in 1982, Simon had been looking at sea defences with dad Donald at Cooden Beach when they were swept out to sea by a huge wave as a fierce storm battered the coastline.

Brother Martin was watching on in safety.

Sadly, Simon drowned, but his father was saved thanks to the efforts of the Eastbourne lifeboat.

For dad Donald, who was fighting for his life in the churning sea water, and for Martin watching helplessly from the shore, it must have been an awful thing to witness.

It is one of those life-changing events which lingers in the memory with mixed feelings of anger and sadness.

Yet the story has taken a fresh and interesting twist as Martin, using the resources of his firm M A Distribution, has teamed up with Eastbourne-based firm Manor Creative, to produce and deliver 60,000 leaflets for the RNLI to help them with their fund-raising.

The enterprising leafleting initiative has already elicited a positive response for the RNLI which is actively fund-raising for their new Tamar class lifeboat which will be completed and launched in Plymouth next week.

A total of £700,000 is needed for the state-of-the-art lifeboat which will be named Diamond Jubilee as it will take to the seas of Eastbourne in the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The RNLI, which relies so heavily on public support, rests among many other charities which face a huge task to fund-raise in these tough economic times.

Theirs is a worthwhile cause as are the many other charities fighting for our money.

However what Martin Adams’ and Manor Creative’s efforts have shown is that it doesn’t always take hard-earned cash to make a different to support a charity.

Sometimes practical help such as this is just as beneficial. Theirs is an example well worth following.