A South Tyneside firm with a worldwide reputation for its top quality products is again lending its support to South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade.

Solar Solve Marine Ltd is based at Simonside East industrial estate in South Shields and manufactures high performance sunscreens for wide range of commercial and industrial users.

Employees were invited to nominate charities to receive a charitable donation and IT worker Ian Ratcliffe picked South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade. He knows of the search and rescue work of the Brigade through his uncle Dave Ratcliffe who is a member of the team.

Ian said : “I am impressed with the often unsung work of the Brigade and I am aware of just how well regarded it is by local people. All the members are unpaid volunteers who answer the call night or day to go the help those in trouble around our coast and riverside.

Ian visited the Brigade’s Watch House on the South Pier along with colleagues Paul Hopkins and Paul Meston  from Solar Solve  to present a cheque for £200.

Staff from Solar Solve present members of SSVLB with a cheque

Tom Fennelly, Honorary Secretary of the Brigade, said:  We are extremely grateful to Ian and his colleagues at Solar Solve for thinking of us. As a small local charity we rely entirely on voluntary contributions and donations and fundraising efforts to maintain our buildings, vehicle and rescue equipment. It is encouraging to be supported so well by a local firm which has helped us in the past.

The Volunteer Life Brigade was founded in 1866 and has an unbroken record of 151 years’ of lifesaving service. For over 100 years its main work was saving life from shipwreck using the breeches buoy, which is no longer used. Today the emphasis on search, rope rescue and water rescue using modern equipment and techniques in conjunction with HM Coastguard.

Solar Solve Marine Ltd was established in 1975, and has won 17 major awards for export and business excellence and exports to over 90 different countries. Their highly-acclaimed transparent sunscreens and blackout roller blinds are installed in all types of marine vessels, oil rigs, offshore platforms, air traffic control towers, crane cabins, port authority towers and control rooms all over the world.