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New shop volunteers needed to help save lives at sea at RNLI Shop Troon

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is looking for new shop volunteers to join its lifesaving team in Troon.

David Matthews, RNLI Shop Volunteer Troon

RNLI/NigelMillard

David Matthews, RNLI Shop Volunteer Troon

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.

David Matthews,18, who has been a shop volunteer at RNLI Shop Troon since 2018 said,

‘I originally signed up to do my bronze Duke of Edinburgh. But afterwards, I continued on just to get more experience and skills. I’ve stayed on [for 4 years] because I enjoy the experience and working with other people.’

‘There’s many different skills that can be picked up from volunteering, and can be used later on in life as well.’

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,’ Lynsey Anderson, RNLI Community Manager explained.

‘The first shop to be run as part of an actual lifeboat station opened in 1990. 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.’

RNLI Shop Volunteer David said, ‘I fit my volunteering in at the weekend after I’ve done school and my paper round all week.’

‘We do need more people to help. We would be able to raise more because we could open longer and more often as well. Currently the shop is closed 3 days a week, and half a day on a Saturday because we don’t have enough volunteers.’

To find out more about how you can help generate vital funds, promote the work of the RNLI, and apply, go to Shop Volunteers-Troon (rnli.org)

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.

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