Unsung heroes: Jean Frost MBE

Jean’s been a part of Rhyl lifeboat since the 1960s, when she discovered her son was skipping church to help out at the station.

Jean Frost MBE from Rhyl

Photo: RNLI/Nathan Williams

How did you come to volunteer for the RNLI? 

One Sunday I tracked down my son to the lifeboat station, polishing brasses. Before I could turn around I was making curtains for the crew room and my husband was treasurer of the fundraisers. It snowballed. 

What volunteering roles have you done since then? 

I took on shifts at the RNLI shop when it was a shed, the ‘hen house’, in a corner of the old boathouse. In 2001, we got a dedicated RNLI shop, and I’ve been shop manager since then. I deal with the new systems, staff rotas and banking all the money. 

What makes you proud? 

Seeing a good result on the till at the end of the day! We took £19,000 in 2018. Plus the RNLI is a truly charitable organisation. As shop managers, we don’t get paid.

My son [Frosty] makes me exceptionally proud. He gives his heart and soul to Rhyl lifeboat. It is damned hard work; we know we’ve earned whatever we’ve had. It’s keeping me alive. Keeps my mind going. It is my life. 

How do you feel when your son is out on a shout? 

Never worried! They do enough training.

Did you ever think of being on the crew? 

Yes, when I was younger. But the boats became very technical and much faster! 

I remember when the maroons went off – it jerks your heartstrings. And the faces of the parents when they see their child safe. That’s worth everything. A terrific feeling.

Inspired by Jean? Join our family of volunteers and find your nearest RNLI shop.

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