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New shop volunteers needed to help save lives at sea at Dunmore East RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

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

RNLI/Dunmore East

Dunmore East shop volunteers Margaret Barry, Carmel McAllister and Shirley O'Neill

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.

Margaret Barry is the chair of the fundraising branch at Dunmore East RNLI and a member of their shop’s volunteering team.

‘I am the daughter of a fisherman and grew up always knowing the importance of the lifeboat to a fishing community,’ Margaret explains. ‘As a child you would hear the lifeboat launch to a rescue and you would also be hoping that it wasn’t Daddy that was in trouble and that the lifeboat would get to whoever it was that was in need of help. We would gather at the lookout wall and pray until the lifeboat returned safely to shore.

‘I joined the fundraising committee in 1995 and between us we run the shop, do coffee mornings, quiz nights and on occasion, take the shop out and about. I love meeting people and find that everyone appreciates the importance of the lifeboat and the volunteer crew who are giving their time to help. Working in the shop is also a good opportunity to get important safety messages out there.’

Encouraging others to get involved, Margaret said volunteering was open to those already in the community or to anyone new who would like to integrate: ‘You can gain some invaluable skills and training whilst helping 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,’ Jennifer Grey, 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 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 shops continue to be friendly and welcoming places.’

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.