A regular sea user, the award-winning garden designer, TV presenter and Gardener’s Question Time regular Chris Beardshaw is an avid supporter of the RNLI.
Chris designed the RNLI garden at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, to take visitors on a ‘rescue journey’ showing the relationship between the crew, the rescued person and their families – all of whose lives become woven together during a rescue mission.
The Chris Beardshaw rose, launched at the Hampton Court Flower Show, raises £2.50 for the RNLI for every rose sold.
One of the foremost names in Formula One, Ross Brawn inspired a team of UK businesses to power their way to raising an impressive £360,000 in just 8 months through the Brawn Lifeboat Challenge.
A new lifeboat, named in honour of the challenge, will now be shared by Chiswick and Tower lifeboat stations on the River Thames.
The only woman to have sailed around the world non-stop three times, and not always in the right direction, Dee Caffari MBE is an active supporter of the RNLI.
Inspirational speeches at fundraising events, advice to other water users on our Serious Fun DVD, and participation in the Lymington 10K run are just some of the ways in which Dee has supported us.
Most familiar for his role as James Bond, Daniel Craig describes his support of the RNLI as a natural thing, having been brought up by the sea in Hoylake, where a lifeboat has been stationed for over 200 years.
The media interest in Daniel has ensured that his involvement with the RNLI has received generous coverage, raising awareness that we are a charity reliant on voluntary donations.
Presenter, writer and adventurer Ben Fogle has experienced training in the RNLI’s sea survival pool on two occasions, fully immersing himself in the same conditions that volunteer lifeboat crews go through to help them save lives at sea.
A passionate supporter of the charity, Ben has frequently promoted the RNLI in his Sunday Telegraph column and in other media interviews, and has run the London Marathon on our behalf.
One of the world’s most successful and accomplished offshore sailors, Mike Golding is currently preparing to take part in the Vendée Globe 2012 – a single-handed, non-stop round-the-world race.
No stranger to sea rescue, Mike gave up his own prospects of winning a previous major solo round-the-world race to undertake the daring and dangerous rescue of fellow competitor Alex Thomson deep in the Southern Ocean. His success on the race podium has also benefited the RNLI, with a £10,000 donation secured following his win of the Artemis Challenge during Cowes Week 2010.
Instantly recognisable for his role in the Harry Potter films, Rupert Grint joined his co-stars James and Oliver Phelps crossing Europe in a wacky rally, raising funds for, and awareness of, the RNLI.
One of the most recognisable faces of survival and outdoor adventure, Bear Grylls circumnavigated the UK on personal watercraft in aid of the RNLI in 2000.
Bear has continued to raise awareness of the charity in his inimitable way, whether by taking part in a rescue demonstration while live on radio or by going through the same training as volunteer lifeboat crews at RNLI College.
An actor known for his iconic roles, Bernard Hill has scaled the iconic Southwold Lighthouse to raise awareness of the work of our volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards.
Taking part in the abseil twice, Bernard has used the opportunity to talk about our work on radio and in print, referring to those who save lives at sea as the ‘anonymous heroes on our high street.’
Renowned chef and food writer Mark Hix is following a family tradition of supporting the RNLI.
Hix Oyster and Fish House in Lyme Regis annually supports the town’s ever-popular Lifeboat Week. A partnership with a Dorset brewery created two specially brewed Hix ales, which were sold in all five of Mark’s restaurants. Mark has also raised funds through cooking demonstrations and auctioning his time to personally cook for the highest bidder.
Olivier award-winning actress and comedienne Celia Imrie has a passion for the sea and a great admiration for the volunteers of the RNLI.
She is Honorary President of the Cowes RNLI Guild and Patron of the Cowes Appeal.
British Powerboat Champion Shelley Jory-Leigh is a strong advocate for wearing a lifejacket.
Shelley has helped us promote the RNLI lifejacket campaign, has spent time afloat with the Calshot all-weather lifeboat crew during Cowes Week, and has broadcast from RNLI College for the H2O show on BBC Radio Solent.
Award-winning songwriter Seth Lakeman penned a tribute to the courage of the Penlee lifeboat crew, who lost their lives in 1981 while attempting to rescue a stricken coaster.
The song, Solomon Browne, appeared on Seth’s Poor Man’s Heaven album, which debuted at number eight on the UK album charts, and helped raise money for the RNLI through sales and gig collections, in addition to raising awareness in the national media.
Unmistakable as one of the longest serving cast members on EastEnders, Steve McFadden has a long-held passion for the water and for the RNLI. Before training as an actor, Steve skippered boats to the Mediterranean and it was this experience of sailing abroad that made him realise that ‘the RNLI is unique; there is nothing else like it in the world’.
Steve has helped the RNLI through another of his passions – open-water swimming, taking part in the inaugural Castle to Castle Swim in Falmouth. Steve’s participation and the subsequent media coverage has seen this event grow from around 40 swimmers in the first year to more than 400 in its third, raising an incredible amount of money for the RNLI.
James and Oliver Phelps
The practical jokers of Hogwarts, James and Oliver Phelps have appeared in the Harry Potter films since they were 14, building up an international fanbase.
Supporting us over the past few years, James and Oliver have circumnavigated the Isle of Wight twice in the annual Artemis Challenge, rallied through Europe in a car boasting the RNLI livery, and undertaken the Three Peaks Challenge, raising money and awareness.
Award-winning comedy actress Caroline Quentin endorses the RNLI’s beach safety campaign, having seen a lot of the work of the charity through the BBC’s Seaside Rescue, which she narrated.
Caroline visited the crew of Padstow lifeboat as part of her ITV series about Cornwall, which will air in January 2012.
Double Olympic gold medallist and TV presenter Shirley Robertson has travelled the world as a competitive sailor.
Shirley actively promotes our charity's work, recently talking about the importance of gifts in Wills, and helped to generate significant media coverage as an ambassador for the RNLI during Cowes Week.
With a career spanning more than 30 years, Timothy Spall is one of Britain’s most highly regarded actors. His appearances have included regular roles on television, a number of Mike Leigh projects and the role of Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter films.
Tim has circumnavigated the UK with his wife Shane in their Dutch barge, always calling in to meet the local lifeboat volunteers en route, to whom they refer as ‘the true stars of our maritime nation’.
Having competed in the OSTAR (Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race) twice, Hannah White has gone on to develop a successful media career, working regularly with the BBC and ITV, and presenting and commentating on key sailing events around the world.
Hannah gifted the experience of racing with her at Cowes Week through a competition promoted in the boating press and at sailing clubs, and has regularly given media interviews promoting the work of the RNLI.
Ranked one of the world’s top 10 sailors, Steve White has competed in some of the most challenging offshore races, including the Vendée Globe where he finished eighth out of a starting line-up of 30 skippers.
Steve and his wife Kim enthusiastically support the work of the RNLI through their participation in the annual Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week, by providing the unique experience of going afloat on an Open 60 to some of our supporters, and taking on the role of guest speaker at events.
Other famous folk
Other famous folk who've worked with us include:
John Altman, Paul Atterbury, Matt Baker, Johnny Ball, Zoe Ball, Chris Bonnington, Charley Boorman, Edith Bowman, Jo Brand, Cardiff Blues, John Challis, Martin Clunes, Ben Cohen, Norman Cook, Ronnie Corbett, James Cracknell, Emma Crosby, Sharron Davies, David Dimbleby, Craig Doyle, Fisherman’s Friends, Jason Gardener, Pete Goss, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Geoff Holt, Gloria Hunniford, Greg James, Griff Rhys Jones, Hilary Jones, Andrew Lancel, Bruno Langley, Oliver Milburn, David Morrissey, Neil Oliver, Libby Purves, Greg Searle, Michael Sheen, Julian Simmons, Huw Stephens, David Suchet, Murray Walker, Liz Yelling.
Britain’s most successful competitive sailor, Ben Ainslie is a triple Olympic gold and silver medallist. Ben will be aiming for his fourth consecutive gold medal at London 2012, having confirmed his place in the Team GB squad.
Ben laid the foundation stone of RNLI College, the training centre for RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards, which opened in 2004, and continues to support our work.