New shop volunteers needed to help save lives at sea in the North West

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is looking for new shop volunteers to join its lifesaving team across the North West.


Colin Richardson 74, who has volunteered at the shop at Morecambe hovercraft shop for four years

The lifesaving charity is looking in particular to boost support in Lancashire and the Wirral. Opportunities are available at Fleetwood, Blackpool, Lytham St Annes, Morecambe, Barrow, Silloth, New Brighton and Hoylake.

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.

Colin Richardson 74, who has volunteered at the shop at Morecambe hovercraft shop for four years says:

‘I’ve volunteered at the shop in Morecambe hovercraft shop for many years now. get a huge sense of satisfaction from knowing I’m doing something so worthwhile which is helping the crew to save lives. Meeting fellow RNLI supporters is such a pleasure and I know I’m doing my bit to save lives at sea.

‘I’d recommend volunteering to anyone. You are offered the full support and training or the RNLI and it’s nice to think you are giving something back to the community.’

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

'These stalls started selling official commemorative RNLI products for our 1924 centenary and quickly moved on to selling souvenirs and Christmas cards. Stalls then grew into community shops at our stations and we started to standardise the look and feel of our shops from 1990 onwards,’ Hannah Presgrave, RNLI Community Manager for the area explains.

‘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.’

To find out more about how you can help apply please visit

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Relations Manager in Wales and the North West on 07886 668829. Alternatively, please call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [email protected].

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.