RNLI’s Mayday Appeal: Fundraise at home, save lives at sea

Lifeboats News Release

Lifesaving charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), is encouraging people around the UK and Ireland to save lives at sea by fundraising at home for its annual Mayday fundraising appeal, which launches today (1 May) and runs throughout the month.

RNLI

The RNLI have launched their Mayday fundraising campaign that is set to run throughout the month of May.

Although we’re all being asked to stay home at the moment, the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews are still on-call 24/7, ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice when the pager sounds, to go out into the unknown and save lives at sea. The charity is calling on the public to help raise funds for its vital lifesaving service by grabbing a cuppa, joining a step count challenge, or ditching their favourite tipple for its online Mayday appeal.

Mayday normally sees people taking part in group fundraising events around the UK and Ireland but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the RNLI is taking the campaign online.

Although RNLI lifeboat stations remain on call for those in difficulty in the water, like many other UK and Irish charities and businesses, the RNLI is facing challenges when it comes to income. With all RNLI fundraising events being cancelled due to the current global pandemic, the charity has launched a virtual Mayday appeal.

Following the success of the charity’s recent Facebook Live Water Safety Wednesdays and Virtual Pub Quiz, the RNLI has launched ‘Cuppa with the Crew’, a Facebook Live session on Friday 1 May, where followers can join Rich and Natalie from Appledore RNLI Lifeboat Station for a cuppa, ask questions and enjoy a well-deserved tea break. Supporters are asked to make a small donation of the price they would usually pay for a takeaway coffee or tea.

Also, the RNLI will be launching ‘Step to it for Mayday’ very soon, which will encourage people to take part in a daily step challenge, whether it be laps around the house, a hike up the stairs or a stroll through the garden. Supporters can choose a variety of different targets, depending on their ability.

As an alternative, the RNLI is also challenging the public to ditch their favourite tipple, cups of coffee or cans of fizzy and only drink water for ten days – a lockdown detox! Supporters can either gain sponsorship or donate the money they would have spent on alcohol or coffee over the ten days.

RNLI Fundraising, Marketing and Media Director, Jayne George, says:

‘Our Mayday fundraising campaign is a vital event in the RNLI calendar and - given the current situation - it is more important than ever.

‘For years, our fantastic fundraisers have given their time and energy in May to help out our lifesavers. But the welfare of our volunteers, staff and supporters is our priority, and the usual range of activities are now impossible. So this year, Mayday will look a bit different.

‘While many fundraising events and gatherings have been cancelled, our brave lifeboat volunteers are still responding to their pagers and launching in lockdown. So, we are encouraging our supporters to take on fundraising challenges at home. That way they will be able to help protect our lifesavers, while also keeping themselves and others safe.

‘Our charity is powered by the public’s generosity and we are so grateful for their support during this difficult time.’

Visit RNLI.org/Mayday to find downloadable materials for all Mayday activities, get involved with our challenges and do something amazing from the safety of your home this May.

Notes to editor
Further details on each fundraising campaign can be found here: rnli.org/Mayday

RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Charlotte Cranny-Evans at charlotte_cranny-evans@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

RNLI online
For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press.

RNLI

The RNLI's Mayday campaign will kick off with a Facebook Live interview with two of our crew members on Friday 1 May.

RNLI

Volunteer crew members Natalie and Rich will be interviewed on the RNLI Facebook page this Friday.

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.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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