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The RNLI hopes for 'good luck' in Manchester on Friday 13 for an historic event

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) will be holding a street collection on Friday 13 May at Manchester Piccadilly Train Station and in the City Centre to raise vital funds for its lifesaving work.

The event will be an historic occasion as 2016 marks 125 years since the world’s first ever charity street collection. This took place in Manchester in 1891 and was held for the RNLI.*

RNLI fundraisers will be out in force hoping that 'luck will be on their side' and that people will pop any spare change into their buckets.

The collection is part of the charity’s national fundraising event Mayday*. It is also the first in a series of collections and events this year to celebrate the 125th anniversary.

Sophie Wood, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager, said: ‘Our City of Manchester Fundraising Branch will return for a second year to hit the streets and RNLI lifeguards will also be there with some of their rescue kit. We do hope that people will pop along and say “hello”.

‘All the money raised will support the RNLI’s lifesaving work; it could be used to fund crew training, buy new crew kit such as yellow wellies, or contribute towards the training of our specialist flood rescue team.’

Sophie added: ‘It’s really exciting that it’s125 years since the first ever charity street collection, which just so happened to be held by the RNLI in Manchester! We’ll be collecting with an extra sense of pride knowing that all the money raised will help to fund a new generation of lifesavers.’

The RNLI is still looking for extra collectors to help out. Anyone who can spare a couple of hours can contact: for more information.

RNLI Photo caption
The photograph shows RNLI fundraisers in action. Credit RNLI.

Note to editors
*The City of Manchester has a special relationship with the RNLI which began in 1891 when the world's first charity street collection took place in the city on behalf of the RNLI. Organised by local industrialist Sir Charles Macara, the collection followed the charity's worst ever lifeboat disaster, when 27 lifeboat men from Southport and St Annes died trying to rescue sailors on the stricken vessel Mexico in 1886.

The collection raised £5,500 and the money supported the widows and children of the lost crewmen for many years. The event helped lay the foundations of what became central to the RNLI's method of funding its lifeboat service.

*For details about Mayday, the RNLI’s national fundraising event, please visit:

RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North, on 07824 518641 /

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland