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Roses to rescues, violets to volunteers - take part in RNLI Gardens

Lifeboats News Release

From lifesaving lilies to fundraising freesias, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is calling on green fingered supporters to host an RNLI Garden event this summer to help save lives at sea.

Roses to the rescue - garden scene with yellow wellies


RNLI Open Garden

The charity is seeking homegrown heroes to hold fundraisers in their gardens between June and September.

As the warmer weather lures people outside to make the most of their gardens and back yards, the heat will also be rising for RNLI lifesavers across the UK and Ireland.

Every year, the summer brings a tide of rescues as the RNLI hits its busiest season and with the pandemic keeping more people on home shores, it’s likely that unprecedented numbers will visit the coast.

There are several ways to raise funds with an RNLI Gardens event.

Peter Emmett, RNLI Head of Engagement explained:

‘If you have a garden in full bloom why not host an RNLI Open Garden? By opening your green spaces to locals, friends and family in exchange for a small donation, you could help our charity to raise vital lifesaving funds.

‘Whether you have the brightest blooms or the plumpest pumpkin, it could be your time to show off! Alongside hosting an RNLI Gardens event, you could also consider putting on refreshments or home baked goods or selling cut flowers and crops from your vegetable patch.’

For people who would like to take part but don’t want to open their garden to the public, there’s also the opportunity to host an RNLI Garden Party.

Peter added: ‘An RNLI Garden Party is a private event where the host can invite their friends and family round for a celebration and ask for donations in return. Additional funds could be raised through quizzes, cake sales and other fun fundraising activities.

Richard Dowson, RNLI Mechanic at Whitby lifeboat station said: ‘During the past year, we've all spent a lot more time at home. Doing so has made us appreciate how lucky we are to have a garden or open space. I use my garden to grow fruit and veg. It’s also my escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

‘We’re expecting a very busy summer as more people take staycations, so my garden may not get the attention it deserves. That’s why your RNLI Garden event is so important. It will help raise vital funds to support lifeboat volunteers like me so that, together, we can save lives at sea.’

Funds from hosting a garden party or open garden could provide a valuable lifeline to the RNLI:

  • £30 could pay for a lifeguard’s First Aid training
  • £33 for a volunteer crew member’s sea-going wellies
  • £100 could help fund water safety sessions for children

To sign up to RNLI Gardens visit

Notes to editors

  • RNLI photographs available on request

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Dave Riley, RNLI National Media Officer on 01202 336789 or [email protected] or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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.