IN spring, the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) station at Porthdinllaen took on new manager, Andy Smith.
He took over following the long-standing management partnership of manager, Tony Heald, and deputy manager, Malcolm Croasdale. Now he’s had a little time in the role, we asked Andy how it was going.
“The first few months have been focused on learning the job. As the station has always been well run, it falls on me to carry on the same way but bring new ideas where appropriate.
“Fundraising and communication using modern media techniques are key issues. We rely 100 per cent on donations for the maintenance and purchase of new equipment.
“We have recently introduced a QR code for ease of donations at our watchtower, on Nefyn golf course, and an internet link for donations to be made on-line at pay.sumup.io/b2c/QHIB7AY2.
Also, to keep in touch and encourage new volunteers, full use is made of our Facebook and website (www.nci.org.uk/porthdinllaen).”
Looking to the future, he said: “We have a huge fundraising need this year. We recently got electricity, and potentially need to purchase radar equipment and remote cameras to cover some of the dangerous waters around the peninsula, so every penny we raise from donations will go to funding this potentially lifesaving equipment.
“Secondly, we have an amazing team of volunteers, but we need more to deliver our vision.
“We can currently only cover five hours a day, often with a single person shift.
“I would like to extend the hours in summer months and have two people on watch at busy times which is not currently possible.
“I would also like to make Porthdinllaen NCI state of the art when it comes to technology to help us do our jobs better.
“The NCI is being recognised as an essential part of the search and rescue services and I would like to see this role develop further.
“Finally, why did I volunteer to be the next station manager? Well, I’ve been involved in various charity work over the last 20 years.
My father-in-law first got me interested in the NCI - he was treasurer of NCI Teignmouth - so I decided to volunteer for Porthdinllaen to give something back to the community, and as it’s a potentially lifesaving role it seemed a good cause to donate my time to.
“It’s not only a stunning place to volunteer but a very enjoyable role as well.
“Come and see us; visitors are always welcome at our watch station.”
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