New shop volunteers needed to help save lives at sea at Sligo Bay RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is looking for new shop volunteers to join its lifesaving team in Rosses Point in county Sligo.

RNLI/Sligo Bay

Sligo Bay RNLI shop volunteers, Saoirse Hayes sitting down and standing from left, Lisa Gillen, Carole Hayes, Dermot Gillen dressed as Stormy Stan, Monica Conlon and Joan Bree.

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.

Carole Hayes is the RNLI shop manager at Sligo Bay RNLI. She has been fundraising for the RNLI for over 30 years and was a member of the original team of volunteers to run the shop when it first opened 20 years ago in 2002.

‘It was my late husband who among others would have worked to establish a lifeboat station in Sligo, who got me involved in fundraising initially. He asked me and I have been involved ever since. It is lovely to be involved and I have made great friends over the years.’

Carole says that with more volunteers, the shop would be able to widen its team and extend its existing opening hours.

‘This role would particularly suit those living in or near Rosses Point where the shop is located at the lifeboat station. You can gain some invaluable skills and training whilst volunteering at the shop and 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,’ Brian Wilson, RNLI Community Manager explained.

‘Today, we have over 170 RNLI shops around the coast and inland here in Ireland and the UK, 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 are friendly and welcoming places to be.’

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


Photo Detail

Sligo Bay RNLI shop volunteers, Saoirse Hayes sitting down and standing from left, Lisa Gillen, Carole Hayes, Dermot Gillen dressed as Stormy Stan, Monica Conlon and Joan Bree.

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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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.