Seven ways to save lives this Mayday

Whether you tick something off your bucket list or set your sights on something smaller, there are so many ways to raise money for Mayday – our yellow-themed annual fundraiser. Here are seven ideas to make you a real lifesaver this month. 

Our volunteers can only continue to save lives and stay safe with their dependable crew kit. And we can only fund that with your support. 

How you can do your bit to fund our kit this Mayday:

1. Host a bake sale

A bake sale for the RNLI Mayday

Photo: RNLI/Nathan Williams

This fundraiser is a real crowd-pleaser. Delight your colleagues, friends and family with a yellow-themed bake sale to raise some dough! 

From welly-shaped banana bread to a family-favourite lemon drizzle, this is a great way to raise donations – and (probably) your popularity. 

2. Do a sponsored cycle

Dave Hursthouse after completing an epic cycling challenge for Mayday

Photo: RNLI/Deborah Mahon

Dave Hursthouse after completing an epic cycling challenge for Mayday

If you enjoy getting behind the handlebars at the weekend, why not use it to pedal your support and raise money for our crews’ crucial yellows? 

Dave Hursthouse, RNLI supporter and Fundraising Branch Manager for Crewe and Nantwich, is a keen cyclist – and runs the Three Shires cycle team to raise money for Mayday. It’s his way of helping save lives at sea, of showing gratitude for the volunteers who rescued him. 

In 2007, Abersoch lifeboat crew brought Dave to safety after his dinghy capsized. ‘The volunteer crew at Abersoch RNLI got to me in no time,’ Dave explains. ‘So we’ve been running the Three Shires cycle team for the past 3 years to support Mayday. It’s a fitness challenge to suit everyone. 

‘There are five routes across Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire, from 5K family rides to serious club riders doing a big 140km route.

‘The atmosphere is great, we get to showcase a really beautiful and safe area to go cycling in and it’s for a good cause that’s really close to my heart.’

Sign up to join them for a ride at RNLI.org/ThreeShires. 

3. Organise a dress down day 

Spread the word around your office, college, school or club and set a dress-down day with a difference. Everyone makes a small donation to wear what they like for the day – with the addition of something yellow.

Whether it’s your favourite mustard dress, signature sherbet jumper or even bold banana dress-up, every pop of colour will help raise money for the yellow kit that helps our volunteers save lives. 

4. Complete a swim

RNLI supporter Trish Veale with Plymouth Mechanics Les Butler and Simon Jeffrey

Photo: RNLI

RNLI supporter Trish Veale with Plymouth Mechanics Les Butler and Simon Jeffrey

If you’re a regular dipper, a casual summer swimmer, or you can’t even remember the last time you paid a visit to your local swimming pool, completing a swim for Mayday can raise your fitness levels, endorphins and some vital funds. 

You can swim any distance and make a real difference – whether you take on the Channel or commit to a stretch of your local beach or river. 

Supporter Trish Veale from Saltash, Cornwall, set herself a Mayday fundraising challenge in 2018 by swimming 320 lengths – equivalent to the 5-mile distance between nearby Rame Head and Mew Stone. And she raised a brilliant £500! 

‘I’ve been swimming for about 20 years, doing about 30–40 lengths a few times a week,’ she says. ‘I chose a manageable distance but it’s the most I have ever swum, so I certainly had a feeling of accomplishment from the challenge!

‘I was delighted to be able to raise such a fantastic amount for the RNLI.’ 

5. Take on a welly walk

RNLI supporter Zoe Penfold stops in to visit Moelfre Lifeboat Station on her Mayday walking challenge

Photo: RNLI Moelfre

RNLI supporter Zoe Penfold stops in to visit Moelfre Lifeboat Station on her Mayday walking challenge

Some of the best memories made over a spring weekend involve a stretch of the legs with a group of great friends or family – and preferably end with a pub lunch and something cold to enjoy at the end of it. 

Last year, RNLI supporter Zoe Penfold took on an incredible challenge by walking the entire 870-mile Wales Coastal Path. She completed the walk over 60 days, living out of the rucksack she carried on her back, and raising an incredible £500 for Mayday.

So, why not make your next stomp a lifesaver? Plan a route, grab your crew, and explore the great outdoors. (If you pass a lifeboat station, be sure to stop in to say hello – our volunteers would love to meet you!)

6. Get involved in an event

Fundraising cyclers with RNLI mascot Stormy Stan

Photo: RNLI

Cyclists hanging out with our mascot, Stormy Stan! 

No time to arrange a fundraiser? No problem! Rally up your friends – or fly solo – and find an event near you to get involved with and show your support.

You’ll help raise money in incredible company, meet new people and celebrate doing something amazing together.

7. Donate

Fundraising buckets on the beach

Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard

Even if you can’t take part, you can still support our lifesavers this Mayday by digging deep and giving a kind donation

With every challenge sponsored, every cake purchased, and every cheer given in proud encouragement, your donation will go towards funding vital crew kit for our volunteers.  

Sign up today for your free fundraising pack and find out what’s happening near you at RNLI.org/mayday. On behalf of our volunteers, and the people they rescue every year, thank you for giving it some welly this Mayday – you’re a real lifesaver.  

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