Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 13:33 UK

Fundraisers pay for stolen radios

Chudlian cheque
The Chudlians have so far given 1,000 to replace the stolen radios

Charity fundraisers in Devon are donating £1,500 to an RNLI beach lifeguard team to replace stolen communications equipment.

Thieves took five VHF handheld radios, rechargers and binoculars after using bolt cutters to break into a storage unit on Gwithian beach last month.

The Chudlians have given the RNLI a first instalment of £1,000. They will donate the remainder later in the year.

RNLI lifeguard manager Phil Drew said the team was "really heartened".

'Essential kit'

The Chudlians, based in Newton Abbot, raise money for local, national and international charities.

One of the fundraisers, Eric Barnes, said he was moved to help the charity recoup the costs of its stolen equipment after he heard what had happened.

He said: "I was extremely shocked that people could steal from a charity.

"As a small charity, we are able to make decisions quickly about how we want to use the money we have raised, and so we were able to swiftly help the RNLI lifeguards.

"We felt it was important to help them."

Phil Drew, RNLI area lifeguard manager for Penwith, said the lifesavers were grateful for the contribution to replace "essential pieces of kit".

He said: "As a charity, the RNLI relies on the fundraising events and generous donations we receive from the public, so we were extremely upset and disappointed to discover the lifeguards' vital equipment stolen.

"However we were really heartened to receive a call from Eric later that day who said that The Chudlians wanted to donate the money, and we've since received other generous offers."

The charity added that the stolen radios were a distinctive yellow colour and that anyone who knew about the break-in should contact police.

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