Ceredigion family’s lifesaving Christmas

Mother and daughter Amanda and Madeleine Barber will be swapping turkey and tinsel for turbulent seas to keep people safe over Christmas. 

The Barber family, who all volunteer at Cardigan Lifeboat Station, wearing Santa hats on the beach

Photo: RNLI/Nathan Williams

The Barber family, who all volunteer at Cardigan Lifeboat Station. Left to right: Leo Barber (volunteer crew), Amanda Barber (volunteer shore crew), Madeleine Barber (volunteer crew), Tony Barber (volunteer helm).

Together with Madeleine’s dad Tony and older brother Leo, 20, they are volunteer lifesavers at Cardigan Lifeboat Station. Like thousands of other RNLI lifeboat volunteers, they will be on standby to save lives over the festive season.

The bleep of the pagers and the sight of loved ones running out of the door signals the start of an anxious wait for the people left behind. They never know what the crew are going to or when they’ll be back. And at this time of year, the weather is often at its worst and lives can be on the line. 

‘I’m looking forward to being able to help someone in need this Christmas,’ says Madeleine, who’s just 18. ‘My friends think it’s strange that I may have to dash down to the station at any time of day or night when the call for help comes.’

Now her mum’s decided to volunteer too, to help launch and recover the lifeboat. So, when the pagers go off, she’ll be running out of the door along with the rest of the family. ‘I’ll be on hand at the lifeboat station supporting my family and the rest of the team together, saving lives at sea.’

Lifeboat rescues are only possible because of kind donations from caring people like you. By donating to this year’s Christmas Appeal you’ll be helping to fund the kit, training and equipment needed by RNLI volunteers like Madeleine and Amanda to keep other families together at this special time of year. 

‘We’re so thankful for all the support we have from the community,’ says Madeleine. ‘It’s humbling to think people give so generously to enable us to do what we do.’

Can you support RNLI lifeboat volunteers this Christmas and help them to save every one?