Thank you for answering our Mayday call

This May you walked, ran, swam, bounced and sang your way through our Mayday Mile challenge to raise money for our brave lifesavers. You put aside your own personal challenges to take on this new one. You made kind and generous donations. And cheered others on through your sponsorship. Why? Because RNLI lifesavers put out a Mayday call. And being a fellow lifesaver, you answered it. 

In preparation for a busy summer of staycations, we put out a Mayday call of our own earlier this month. We asked for your help in making sure we have everything we need to be there for the thousands of people who will need us this summer.  

We asked you to go the extra mile - a Mayday Mile - to help raise vital funds. And like the selfless lifesavers you are, you didn’t let us down. 

You went out in all the weather May threw at us to answer our Mayday call. Many of you did the Mayday Mile in memory of a loved one lost to drowning. Or in tribute to someone special who devoted, and in some cases sacrificed, their life to save the lives of others.   

In true RNLI spirit, people from all walks of life got involved: RNLI supporters, volunteers and staff. Fundraisers, donors and sponsors. Family, friends, neighbours and strangers. 

People like you, Sam Phillips from Stromness 

RNLI supporter Sam completed 50 Mayday Miles in memory of her dad

Photo: Sam Phillips

RNLI supporter Sam completed 50 Mayday Miles in memory of her dad  

Sam walked 50 miles between 1 and 16 May in memory of her father, who drowned in July 2005.  

‘When I was 17 years old, I got the worst news a child could get; my dad had died. He had been out fishing with a friend, and he had gotten washed off by a freak wave. 

‘The Stromness lifeboat crew were able to retrieve him, allowing me and my brother to say a proper goodbye x 

‘I hope you never need them, but if you do, you're in amazing hands.’ 

Sam’s 50 Mayday Miles raised over £300 for the RNLI - a feat her dad would be extremely proud of. Thank you, Sam

Read more on Facebook

Sam's Mayday Mile

And you, Kristina Jackson from Aberporth 

RNLI supporter Kristina Jackson completed 7 Mayday Miles over 7 days in her wheelchair

Photo: Kristina Jackson 

RNLI supporter Kristina Jackson completed 7 Mayday Miles over 7 days in her wheelchair 

Kristina has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) - a chronic illness that affects her body’s connective tissue and joints. So pushing herself in her wheelchair, a mile a day for 7 days, was a huge challenge for her. 

Kristina explains more on her fundraising page: ‘Because EDS affects all joints in my body, I have problems self-propelling my wheelchair any distance. This is going to be a big challenge for me, as I suffer chronic fatigue as part of my condition. Please help me support this great cause.’ 

Kristina’s Mayday Mile challenge raised over £100 to help save lives at sea. Thank you, Kristina

Read more on Facebook 

Kristina’s Mayday Mile

And you, Laurence Lewis-Austin from Shropshire 

Laurence Lewis-Austin, Mayday fundraiser

Photo: Victoria Lewis-Austin

Laurence Lewis-Austin, taking on the Mayday Mile in honour of his lifesaving family

Laurence is proudly taking on the Mayday Mile in honour of his lifeboating ancestry, which dates back to 1861.  

‘My great-great-great-great grandfather, Thomas William, was one of the members of the first lifeboat crew in Aberystwyth in 1861. On one callout, he was shot in the face by the lifeboat's calling out cannon (used to alert the crew to an emergency). Dripping in blood and with one eye blown away, he still went out and carried out a successful rescue. 

‘My great-great grandfather Thomas William Lewis was bowman, second coxswain and coxswain at Aberystwyth between 1919 and 1942. He died at the age of 84 and had never missed a lifeboat launch.’ 

Laurence’s Mayday Mile challenge raised over £50 for our lifesaving charity and was certainly one of the most unusual. He sat on a metal tray and shuffled along for the whole mile. If only it had all been downhill! Thank you, Laurence. Your forefathers would be proud.   

Laurence’s Mayday Mile 

Support from our budding young lifesavers 

A mile is a very long way for little ones. But that didn’t stop our young lifesavers getting involved! 

Quinn, aged 3, from Dorset 

Quinn, aged 3, took on the RNLI Mayday Mile in his lifeboat-launching tractor!

Photo: Quinn’s mum, Vicki Lovegrove-Fray 

Quinn, aged 3, took on the RNLI Mayday Mile in his lifeboat-launching tractor!  

Tractor Driver Quinn Lovegrove-Fray aged 3 from Dorset completed his Mayday Mile by carrying Lifeboat Bob and Rescue Hovercraft Harry over all kinds of terrain to launch to the rescue of two Lego divers. Lifeguard Lucy was also on hand, ready to assist in the rescue operation. 

Warming up after the rescue, Quinn said that highlights of his day included strawberry jam, chocolate cake, marshmallows, hot chocolate and milk. But the best thing of all was completing his Mayday Mile challenge in aid of the RNLI. Well done Quinn for raising almost £300! 

Watch on Facebook

Quinn's Mayday Mile

Ben, aged 2, from County Antrim 

Young lifesaver Ben

Photo: Ross Stewart

Young lifesaver Ben Stewart

At just 2½ years old, Ben Stewart already wants to follow in his father’s footsteps - literally! Ben’s dad Ross Stewart is a volunteer crew member at Larne Lifeboat Station.  

On his fundraising page, Ben says: ‘I want to do the Mayday Mile to help raise money for my daddy and his crewmates at Larne RNLI (and their big orange boat!)  

‘I'm going to walk a whole mile (maybe more) without stopping, with my mummy and daddy along the prom in Larne where I normally like to watch the lifeboat from shore. Please help me raise as much money as possible! Thank you.’ 

Ben’s Mayday Mile raised over £600, which is just a-Mayday-zing for such a little lifesaver. Thank you, Ben! 

Watch on Facebook 

Ben’s Mayday Mile 

Thank you for being our lifesaver 

This is just a snapshot of the overwhelming support we have received from people like you - our loyal and selfless supporters. 
Almost 2,000 of you signed up to take on our Mayday Mile challenge, raising more than £270,000 (including Gift Aid) … and counting!   

We cannot thank each and every one of you enough. Whether you completed our Mayday Mile challenge, or supported our Mayday Appeal in another way, thank you for answering our Mayday call this summer and for being our lifesaver. 

Your support will help to fund everything RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards need to save lives at sea - from kit and PPE to equipment and training - and means we will be there for families like yours during what could be our busiest summer yet. 

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