Donate now

How Love Actually is saving lives at sea

Lifeboats News Release

Film enthusiasts will get the chance to own a piece of British cinematic history and raise vital funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), when an online auction for the charity goes live.


Love Actually film cell

The auction, organised by the RNLI’s Walberswick fundraising branch and hosted by London auctioneers Dawsons, is available to view at from tomorrow, Saturday 14 November. The charity hopes to raise thousands of pounds from the auction, thanks to the generosity of local residents, including Love Actually creator Richard Curtis.

The top attraction is a signed film cell featuring the final frame from the original 35mm reel of the hit 2003 romantic comedy, donated by Mr Curtis and partner Emma Freud, long-standing residents of Walberswick and supporters of the RNLI. Other lots include a 3-night stay at a Scottish castle, an oil painting by Royal Academy short listed Suffolk artist Sarah Muir Poland and a 2-night bed & breakfast stay at the RNLI Training College in Poole, Dorset.

The current health crisis has hit the RNLI’s income hard. Lockdown halted the fundraising events the charity relies upon to power its lifesaving service. Yet lifeboat crews have never stopped being on call 24/7, ready and willing to save lives. They still need protective crew kit and fuel to launch their lifeboats. And their lifeboat stations and lifeboats still need to be maintained and repaired.

Walberswick branch was formed in 1981 by Ruth & Leslie Goodwin. The auction will run for three weeks from 14 November, with all money raised going towards the RNLI.

Jonathan Winyard, Walberswick RNLI Branch Chairman, said: ‘After a year of very limited fundraising activity we are excited to be working with Dawsons to move our auction event online. We are hopeful that in reaching a larger audience we could raise more than ever before. We’re also hugely grateful for the generosity of all those who have donated items for the auction. The RNLI is a charity very close to our community’s heart, keeping our waters safe for both local residents and visitors to the area.’

Aubrey Dawson, Managing Director at Dawsons, said: ‘Dawsons Auctioneers & Valuers are an established antiques and fine art auction house with offices in London and Berkshire. We hold a monthly fine art & antiques auction which is streamed live online to a huge global audience. Whilst this year has been a challenging one for many auction houses and other businesses, Dawsons has seamlessly adapted to the new online world and been able to go from strength to strength; indeed, the past three auctions have seen some of our strongest ever results.

‘The team at Dawsons are proud to be working alongside the RNLI. Our aim is to ensure that this wonderful organisation is able to achieve the maximum return on any valuable items which are potentially bequeathed to the RNLI within a Will, or that may simply be donated as a gift.’

RNLI media contacts
For more information or to request an interview, please contact Jim Rice, RNLI Regional Media Manager, at [email protected]. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email [email protected].


Love Actually film cell (2)


Love actually film cell (2)


Southwold lifeboat in action

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 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.

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.