Manchester’s northern ballet school raise the barre in support of the RNLI
Manchester’s budding dance stars swap their pointe shoes for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s yellow wellies to show support for Mayday, the charity’s annual national fundraising campaign which is calling out for people to ‘Do your bit, fund our kit’.
The Northern Ballet School’s talented troupe show off their signature moves in bright yellow wellies to encourage the public to support Mayday, which is raising funds for crucial RNLI kit for the charity’s brave volunteer lifeboat crews.
Worn by generations of crews to grip the deck in slippery conditions, the iconic yellow wellies keep crew members safe and steady on stormy seas. Just like ballerina’s pointe shoes, RNLI-issue sea boots have reinforced toecaps to protect the crews’ feet.
Northern Ballet School ballerina, Alison Eager, comments:
‘Swapping my ballet shoes for yellow wellies has been a humbling experience. I couldn’t dance without my pointe shoes and the RNLI’s volunteers couldn’t save lives at sea without their yellow wellies and the rest of their lifesaving kit. So, I’d encourage everyone to visit RNLI.org/Mayday to see how they can support the RNLI’s Mayday campaign.’
Mayday distress calls can come in any time, day or night, 365 days a year, with 4,700 volunteer crew members from 238 lifeboat stations across the UK and Ireland on standby to drop everything in an instant to save lives at sea.
Sophie Wood, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager for Manchester, said:
‘Our crews rely on lifesaving kit, like their yellow wellies, lifejackets and helmets, when they go out in all weathers to save lives at sea. From sponsored bike rides and welly walks, to running a bake sale, there are all sorts of ways to raise money for the RNLI this Mayday. Visit RNLI.org/Mayday to download a fundraising pack and see how you can do your bit to fund our kit.’
The RNLI’s Mayday campaign runs throughout May and aims to raise £750,000 to fund lifesaving kit for the charity’s brave volunteer crews. A crew member’s yellow wellies cost £54 a pair, a lifejacket costs £458 and a safety helmet costs £263.
Sophie Wood continued:
‘In 2016 RNLI lifeboat crews launched 8,851 times, rescuing 8,643 people and saving 431 lives. Holidaymakers from urban areas, like Manchester, can be less aware of the dangers the sea can bring. They may not be aware of the efforts the RNLI and its army of volunteers go to in order to keep the public safe around our coasts.’
Mayday fundraising events are taking place right across the UK and Ireland, many with a yellow welly theme. To find a Mayday event near you, or to download a fundraising pack, visit
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
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