A TOUCHING message from the children of a member of Dunbar’s RNLI crew has been included in cards being sent to people who donated to the charity.

Jamie Forrester, who has been a volunteer at Dunbar’s lifeboat station for 10 years, and his children Erin and Lochlan were chosen by the RNLI to send out thank you cards to people who had donated to the charity.

In the card, nine-year-old Erin and Lochlan, five, wrote: “Thank you for helping to keep our daddy safe.

“Every year we have a lot of thank you cards to write.

“We send a thank you to Santa and to our parents and to our family and friends who give us presents.

“We feel very lucky.

“But the first card we wanted to write this year is to you, because you sent a present that helps keep lifeboat crew members safe.

“Our daddy is one of them … We are so proud of our daddy and we love him very much. Thank you for caring about him too.”

The card prompted more than a dozen replies to Jamie’s family and to the lifeboat station, as well as more donations.

Jamie said: “We’ve been blown away by supporters taking the time to find out the address for Dunbar station, write to the kids telling them a little about themselves, their lives past and present.

“We’ve had people on farms telling us the names of the animals they have, while some older supporters have told us about their family and loved ones, life partners lost, and poignant reflections on the work and volunteering of the RNLI to save lives at sea and sacrifices made.

“The children, Erin in particular, have loved connecting with them and writing back, knowing that at this time of year – and after the year that 2020 has been – reaching out to people is so important for everyone.”

Jamie said the cards had the desired affect and people had got in touch with the charity. He added: “One gentleman wrote directly to me having not shared often his experience and emotions knowing of the loss of the Broughty Ferry lifeboat Mona in 1959.

“He said, through his work at RAF Leuchars as a young man, he had been the first to know of the circumstances that led to the lifeboat being launched that night and his outpouring of emotion when he read the evening paper the next day to find the entire crew had been lost. It moved me to write back, acknowledging the sacrifices and skills of people of his generation across all walks of life and how, thanks to the continued donations of people like him, the RNLI has developed self-righting vessels and improved safety equipment for crews.

“It doesn’t matter if we are donators or volunteers we are one team. All of the crew at Dunbar have the utmost respect for our predecessors and, at this time of year, it’s a great reflection on human nature to connect with others.”

Jamie’s volunteer colleague at Dunbar Kieran Fairbairn has also been the face of this year’s RNLI Christmas Appeal.

His mum Emma, the wife of coxswain Gary Fairbairn, added: “Kieran is on call to rescue others this winter. As volunteer lifeboat crew, he drops everything to help people in trouble, even at Christmas.

“It’s tough, as a mum, when my boy disappears into the unknown. This year with the pandemic, there was the extra worry of seeing him head out while we were being told to stay home.”

To donate to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit bit.ly/34PVVqr