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.
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.
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