Can you help raise £4,000 to replace money stolen from Norfolk independent lifeboat?

Sea Palling independent lifeboat. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Sea Palling independent lifeboat. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A community-minded woman hopes to raise £4,000 to replace the money stolen from a charity that funds an independent lifeboat in north Norfolk.

Jessica Parker stole from the charity. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Jessica Parker stole from the charity. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Jessica Parker took £3,847 from the Sea Palling Independent Lifeboat Service between March 7 and June 30, 2016.

The 58-year-old, of Corton Road, Norwich, who was the charity's secretary, admitted 10 counts of fraud by abuse of position at Norwich magistrates' court last week, and will be sentenced on May 25.

The court heard that the group had to postpone buying new equipment because of the theft.

Resident Francesca Tedstone, who has fund-raised for the charity, has set up a crowdfunding page to raise the money.

She said: 'This money was raised by the crew and members of the public in fundraising events, which I took part in, to support the lifeboat.

'This is absolutely fundamental because unlike other lifeboat crews, RNLI, etc., Sea Palling is independent and thus solely functions on generous donations and events.

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'Additionally, as very few people are aware, this team of lifesavers are not paid for the roles they play in keeping our shores safe; they do this voluntarily, answering calls at any time of the day or night to keep our community safe. They have young families and nine-to-five jobs.'

As a member of the community with friends in the crew, she said the news her struck her deeply.

She added: 'It saddens me to the core to know that the crew have been disgustingly robbed and their hard work completely destroyed.

'I have supported in rain and shine to help raise thousands of pounds for the lifeboat, only to find out that it is no longer there; from pub quizzes to 18-mile walks fully-suited from Cromer, these guys really do deserve their money back.

'So I have been moved to start a campaign in order to try and crowdfund this money back in order to ensure this amazing crew can continue their lifesaving work.

'I am desperate to turn this negative theft story into something more positive for the crew who work so tirelessly hard.'

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