New shop volunteers needed to help save lives at sea at Clogherhead RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is looking for new shop volunteers to join its lifesaving team at Clogherhead RNLI.


Clogherhead RNLI shop volunteers Chris O'Leary and Elizabeth Spicer

Just like the charity’s lifeboats, the RNLI’s retail team need a dedicated volunteer crew -people of all ages and abilities - who can give a little time to help save lives at sea.

Elizabeth Spicer has been the RNLI shop manager at Clogherhead RNLI since 2019 having volunteered at the shop for a number of years prior to that.

‘My mother joined the Ladies Lifeboat Guild in Hastings when my brother went to sea in 1972,’ Elizabeth explains. ‘Subsequently my brother, Captain Hugh Fogarty, worked for the RNLI for over 30 years as a lifeboat inspector and helped develop a number of modern lifeboats including the Shannon, the latest class of all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI fleet.

‘Hugh encouraged me to get involved. I have a mobile home up the beach from the lifeboat station and he asked me one day if I had made a visit. So, I went to the shop and met a gentleman who was working there and I was then introduced to Padraig the station mechanic and it was from there that I began volunteering.

‘I feel that by volunteering in the shop, I am supporting the great lifesaving crew here in Clogherhead and I really would encourage anyone who is interested in helping out like me to come along. You can gain some invaluable skills and training while volunteering at a shop and you become part of an incredible team. If you enjoy meeting and interacting with people, are confident in handling money, it really is a role you will love.’

RNLI shops started out as simple cake stalls run by volunteers to raise money for their local lifeboat station.

‘These stalls started selling commemorative RNLI products in around 1920 and quickly moved on to selling souvenirs and Christmas cards with all profits helping save lives at sea,’ Pauline McGann, RNLI Community Manager explained.

‘Today, we have over 170 RNLI shops around the coast and inland, all of which are still run by our dedicated volunteers. They attract many visitors throughout the year and stock an excellent range of unique souvenirs and gifts.

‘The pandemic unfortunately hit our shops and fundraising income hard as they closed for periods of time in line with Covid-19 restrictions. We were delighted when we could reopen them safely in accordance with government guidance and are looking forward to welcoming our visitors in 2022. To do this successfully, we want to grow our team of shop volunteers and are looking for people who enjoy interacting with others, can help us to provide a high level of customer service and ensure our shop is a friendly and welcoming place.’

To find out more about how you can help generate vital funds, promote the work of the RNLI, and apply, go to


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.

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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.