Anglesey singer raises £21,000 for voluntary RNLI crews who searched for his best friend

  • Ren Gill said he feels the donation is giving back to his best friend Joe's legacy

A singer songwriter has donated £21,000 to volunteer RNLI crews who tried to find his best friend who went missing more than 12 years ago.

Ren Gill presented RNLI crews on Anglesey a cheque of £21,000 that he raised for volunteers.

The musician thanked the volunteer RNLI crews at Beaumaris and across the island for their efforts in searching for his best friend Joe Hughes.

Mr Hughes went missing 12 years ago on the Menai Strait after he had taken his own life.

The pair were best friends and the singer told ITV News that Mr Hughes was always at his performances signing. Credit: Ren Gill

The singer from Anglesey dedicated his debut solo album Freckled Angels and title track to Mr Hughes.

He was greeted by local residents and volunteers on Tuesday to witness him sign and present the cheque.

The initial target was £5,000 but that was "smashed in a day" and the figure kept going up.

He said he felt proud to donate "quite a lot of money".

He was greeted by local residents and the volunteers on Tuesday to witness him sign and present the cheque.

The musician told ITV News: "They do this out of the goodness of their own heart so I couldn't really think of a better organisation to support than people who have that level of putting the greater good over themselves."

Recalling the moment that crews started searching for Mr Hughes, he said: "They came on the scene very quickly and we had a big team of people and we were confident that a lot was being done to ensure that we found him.

"Sadly it was never the case because of the Menai current. But even the next day they gave us all tea and biscuits, stuff like that and they were all very compassionate about it and emphatic.

"He was one of my first fans, he'd always be there singing along to the words when we were kids. Gave a lot of confidence for me so for me to be able to do things to almost give back to his legacy."

The RNLI described the amount raised as "incredible".

Catherine Jones, RNLI community manager for the RNLI in north Wales, said: "As a charity, any donation is hugely appreciated but this amount raised really is incredible.

"We’re humbled that Ren has used his status and popularity to reach out and raise awareness of the work of our volunteer crew.

"The team at Beaumaris are thrilled to accept this donation on behalf of all our stations on Anglesey who work tirelessly with the common aim of saving lives at sea.

"We wish Ren all the best with this latest shoot and thank him sincerely for all his support, which will make a massive difference to our crews off the Anglesey coast."

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