Withernsea RNLI volunteer on his marks for London Marathon

Lifeboats News Release

Withernsea RNLI crew member Matthew Woodhouse is swapping his wellies for trainers on Sunday (24 April) to run the Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of the lifesaving charity.

Matthew followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather when he joined the crew at the age of 17 and says the RNLI is in his blood.

‘My father Martin served on the crew for an incredible 27 years and is now the RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Withernsea while my grandfather was part of the original crew when the lifeboat station was re-established in Withernsea in 1974. Since then, there has always been an active crew member from my family ready to save lives at sea.

‘The family connection doesn't end there, however, as my grandmother was a well-known fundraiser for our lifeboat, and my godfather is now Deputy Launch Authority after being on the crew at Withernsea.’

Matthew took up running less than a year ago in a bid to get fit and his longest race so far was the Great North Run last September. The event didn’t go entirely to plan, though, as his lifesaving training kicked in when a fellow runner fell and hit her head on a kerb. He and another runner – a fire fighter – both stopped to deliver first aid until an ambulance team arrived, meaning his finishing time was much slower than he had hoped.

The RNLI provides a 24-hour search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, including on the River Thames. The charity relies on public donations to fund its lifesaving work.

Rachael Bentley, Events Logistics Manager at the RNLI, says: ‘Our marathon runners are truly inspirational and are raising vital funds to help the RNLI to continue to save lives. We hope they enjoy the experience of completing their personal running challenge and raising funds for the charity at the same time.

‘We’re hoping plenty of people will join us at our cheering stations around the route, to help our runners get round the course.

‘We’d like to encourage anyone running in next year’s marathon to think about using their ballot place or signing up for a charity place to run for the RNLI in 2017. Thank you and good luck to all the runners supporting our cause this year!’

Matthew’s online sponsorship page can be found at: www.justgiving.com/RNLIrunner    

In 2015, the RNLI’s lifeboat crews rescued 7,973 people whilst the charity’s lifeguards rescued 1,790 people in the UK and Ireland.

Picture caption
Matthew Woodhouse, Withernsea RNLI crew member and London Marathon Runner. Credit RNLI

RNLI media contacts
For more information contact Alison Levett, RNLI PR Manager, North, on 07786 668912 or contact Katie Sands, PR (Campaigns) on 01202 336497 or email Katie_Sands@rnli.org.uk

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.