Lough Erne RNLI Fundraising Branch calls for new lifesaving volunteers
The RNLI is looking for new volunteers to join its lifesaving crew on the Lough Erne Fundraising Branch.
Just like the charity’s lifeboats, the RNLI’s fundraising team need a dedicated volunteer crew. Volunteers are at the heart of the RNLI and make up 95% of its people. They are ordinary people who do extraordinary things and without them, the organisation couldn’t continue to save lives both at sea and on inland waters.
But it’s not all about volunteering on lifeboats or at a station, there are many other ways people can give a little or a lot of their time to support the RNLI and make their own lifesaving difference.
Peter Scott has been a volunteer in a range of roles for the RNLI in county Fermanagh for the last 22 years. He was one of the founding members of the original Lough Erne Rescue group before the RNLI approached the team in 2000 to be part of a pilot scheme and become the first inland waters lifeboat station. Lough Erne now has two state-of-the-art lifeboat stations on both upper and lower Lough Erne at Carrybridge and Killadeas, both of which are powered by a dedicated team of volunteer crew.
‘Once the RNLI station was set up’, Peter explains, ‘I became a Deputy Launching Authority which involved authorising the launch of the lifeboat when we were requested by the Coastguard. I continued in that role until competency-based training was introduced and then I became the lifeboat training co-ordinator for the station, a role I did for 14 years in tandem with being an education volunteer. I now volunteer both as a water safety officer and a committee member on the fundraising branch.’
Asked how he finds the time, it is Peter’s passion for what he does and the difference his contribution makes, that spurs him on.
‘I have a passion for helping other people and the RNLI is as good an organisation as you will get for doing that. I recall one of our female volunteers being interviewed and saying the satisfaction came from seeing the face on someone in trouble when you approached on the lifeboat and that was priceless. For me, a lot of my role involves coming face to face with the public so I do get to see and hear the reaction of groups I deliver talks to or who come to get a lifejacket checked at one of our clinics and it really is one of appreciation - that is rewarding for me.’
Peter is now encouraging anyone who is interested in getting involved with the Lough Erne RNLI Fundraising Branch.
This is something echoed by Mary Creedon, RNLI Fundraising Partnership Lead who hailed the selfless work of people such as Peter: ‘Without our volunteers, the RNLI simply would not be able to operate the way it does today. With 92% of the RNLI’s income coming from donations, the charity relies on the generosity of supporters and on the dedication of our fundraising volunteers to help raise essential funds. Thousands of community fundraising volunteers organise a wide range of activities and events each year, contributing their time, energy and skills to raise money to save lives. Some of our fundraisers have been volunteering for many years while some just join us for a few months in the year depending on what their commitments allow.
‘We now really need to bolster that support and grow our volunteer fundraising crew. If you like to have fun, enjoy meeting new people and want to join a motivated and enthusiastic team, we encourage you to find out more and apply. You will learn new skills, gain experience, and have the rewarding satisfaction of giving back. The RNLI will also provide all the necessary training and support so you can carry out your chosen role effectively.’
To find out more about how you can sign up to be a fundraising volunteer at the RNLI, or to apply, click on this link rnli.org/OneCrewVolunteers
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
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