New shop volunteers needed to help save lives at sea at Shoreham-by-Sea RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is looking for new shop volunteers to join its lifesaving team at Shoreham-by-Sea RNLI.

RNLI/Shoreham

David Morris from Shoreham RNLI

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 Morris has been a shop and visits guide volunteer at Shoreham since its redevelopment in 2010, and for the past 12 years, he has been welcoming and giving inspiring tours of the station to visitors.

‘I was brought up in a small village in Wales called Mumbles. The Lifeboat was part of village life there, so I saw this as an opportunity to get involved with a familiar charity. I had recently retired, so the timing was ideal, and it has proved to be one of my better decisions!’.

As for what David finds most enjoyable about being part of the shop volunteer crew, he says: ‘The rewarding part of the job is meeting and interacting with people to inform, explain, educate and, hopefully, entertain them while touring our impressive station. A few years ago, I remember taking a lady on a tour of the station, and she especially wanted to see the display regarding the Shoreham Lifeboat rescue of the Trimley Maid yacht, which took place on 2 June 1999, in very rough seas. It turned out that her father was one of the two people whose lives were saved by the RNLI crew that night. It was very emotional!’

Now David is encouraging others to get involved: ‘By giving up just some of your time, you will enjoy meeting all sorts of people, making friends, and all this while supporting an incredibly worthwhile cause’.

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,’ Charlie Rustem, 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 https://volunteering.rnli.org/vacancy/shop-volunteershoreham-harbour-474013.html?_ga=2.138644019.1807215458.1644819346-1504325062.1603365337

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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.