School girl sets up shop to raise funds for the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Seven year old Mia Plowright has set up a pop up shop in Helford Passage in Cornwall to raise money for the RNLI.

Jasmine Plowright

Iolanthe Thompson (6), Mia Plowright (7) and Katie Plowright (12)

Mia, from Surrey, first set up the pop-up shop selling painted stones when she was visiting her grandparents on holiday in the Helford Passage three years ago, ably assisted by her mum and 12 year old cousin, Katie Plowright.

The shop has now become a permanent feature at the annual Helford Passage Regatta and raised over £100 this year. Mia has also recruited a team of young volunteers to help run her shop. They willingly give up their holiday time to design the stones and sell them together whilst also raising awareness for the RNLI among their friends and fellow holiday makers.

Mia was inspired to set up her shop when she first visited the Helford Passage Regatta, which is held every year in aid of the RNLI. As a result of this, Mia and her brothers always asked her parents who the RNLI were and what they did. They went to visit their nearest RNLI lifeboat station in Falmouth which is what spurred Mia on to fundraise for the RNLI at the Regatta.

Jasmine Plowright, Mia’s mum, said:

‘Our visit to Falmouth along with the demonstrations that take place at the Regatta where the kids could have a look at the boats and speak to the volunteer crew members really inspired Mia to fundraise and her brother also now wants to become a lifesaver like the crew of the lifeboat.’

Mia’s shop, which is open on the wall of the family’s holiday flat, has now become really well known locally – everyone expects to see it at the Regatta.

Jasmine continues:

‘It has become part of the community the Regatta creates and Mia has now had to start painting the stones throughout the year to prepare for the shop’s popularity.

For us as parents, it was really important for our children be aware of the importance of the RNLI and how to be safe near the sea – especially as we stay right next to it. We showed Mia the RNLIs Float to Live campaign video and then overheard her explaining the importance of floating to her friends whilst they were painting the stones.

We are so proud of what Mia and her friends are doing – especially for such an important cause.’

Notes to Editors

Photos attached:

1. Iolanthe Thompson (6), Mia Plowright (7) and Katie Plowright (12)

2. Sebastian Duke (11), Jake Bailey (12), Mia Plowright (7) and Barnaby Duke (8)

3. Mia Plowright (7), Josh Plowright (5) and Jake Bailey (12)

4. Iolanthe Thompson (6), Grace Bailey (5) and Mia Plowright (7)

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Jessica Putt, RNLI Media Engagement Placement, at or Emma Haines, Regional Media Officer, at

Jasmine Plowright

Sebastian Duke (11), Jake Bailey (12), Mia Plowright (7) and Barnaby Duke (8)

Jasmine Plowright

Mia Plowright (7), Josh Plowright (5) and Jake Bailey (12)

Jasmine Plowright

Iolanthe Thompson (6), Grace Bailey (5) and Mia Plowright (7)

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, in a normal year, 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 by email.