The amount was raised between 20 January and 16 February by Kiwis fuelling up at BP retail sites across the country during BP’s Every Litre Counts campaign. For every litre of fuel sold, BP made a donation to the charity which accumulated more than $230,000.
BP New Zealand’s Managing Director, Debi Boffa, says, “Our volunteer Surf Lifeguards have been putting in long hours to keep us safe at the beach all summer. They have our backs and Every Litre Counts is a way of showing that we also have theirs. It’s awesome to see thousands of Kiwis getting behind the cause once again.”
SLSNZ is investing the vital funds generated this year into an essential Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Health and Safety project.
“IRBs are such a critical component to our beach rescues, and the health and safety of our volunteers is paramount. The $231,219 generated by Every Litre Counts will help us fund research into IRB safety as well as develop education resources and training programmes,”1 says SLSNZ CEO, Paul Dalton.
SLSNZ needs $10 million every year to operate and collectively its 74 clubs require roughly the same amount to run. As part of this year’s Every Litre Counts initiative, each club was challenged to spread the word about the campaign through social media for the chance to win one of 40 x $1,000 prizes.
The 40 winners include clubs from as far north as Whangarei Heads to St Clair in Otago.2
In addition, 100 individual Surf Lifeguards have won their share of $10,000 in the form of BP Gift Cards to help with petrol expenses to get to patrols.
“To each person who fuelled up at BP during the donation period, we want you to know that your support means a great deal to us and really will make a difference in keeping our beaches safer,” Dalton says.
Every Litre Counts was first introduced in 2018 to mark 50 years since BP began its support of SLSNZ in 1968, believed to be New Zealand’s longest unbroken corporate partnership.
Since it began, $908,670 has been raised through Every Litre Counts, in addition to BP’s other support which includes an annual donation, an annual contribution of fuel for every Surf Life Saving Club around the country, and a new Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) donated to one club each year.
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The association between BP and SLSNZ began shortly after the 1968 Wahine disaster. Prior to that, Europa, subsequently purchased by BP, sponsored a surf boat at Worser Bay Surf Life Saving Club called ‘Miss Europa’. This boat was used by brave clubbies in horrendous conditions to save some of the 683 passengers and crew that were rescued from the Wahine. The Europa staff were so impressed by the actions of these clubbies that a nationwide sponsorship began evolving into the celebrated partnership it is today. BP purchased Europa and continued the partnership.
Every Litre Counts is in addition to BP’s Surf Life Saving New Zealand community partnership. The partnership includes an annual donation, a new Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) donated to one club each year (valued at $25,000), and an annual contribution towards fuel costs for every Surf Life Saving club around the country. BP has also launched the BP Leaders for Life programme which is designed to provide lifeguards with a variety of important skills including conflict resolution and leadership skills that can be applied to their communities and clubs. BP also recognises the skills of Surf Lifeguards in the BP Rescue of the Month and BP Rescue of the Year awards.