New volunteers called to join RNLI’s fundraising crew in Antrim
The RNLI is looking for new fundraising volunteers to join its lifesaving crew both in Larne and Carrickfergus and Whitehead.
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 at sea.
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.
Husband and wife Trevor and Victoria Doyle are fundraisers for the RNLI at the Carrickfergus and Whitehead branch for over seven years but their involvement with the charity goes back much further than that.
‘Our story goes back four generations now with the family going to Portrush on holidays,’ Trevor explains. ‘Victoria’s mum and dad would always visit the lifeboat station in Portrush and donate money in the box that slides directly into the station itself and then we were encouraged and continued to do that with our son and now he does that with his own family. When we attended the raft race in Whitehead some years ago, we got chatting to a couple of volunteers who were doing a collection and they invited us along to one of their meetings and we have been working as fundraising volunteers since then.
Because it is not attached to a lifeboat station, Trevor says some people don’t realise that there is a Carrickfergus and Whitehead fundraising branch, but he would like to see more people get involved.
‘Personally, I find it rewarding. From where we are in Carrickfergus you can often see the Bangor and Larne lifeboats when they are out, and it is satisfying to know what we are doing is helping to keep the lifeboat crew kitted out and safe and that we are contributing to saving lives at sea. We are a small branch and would love to see new faces come along and join us and share new ideas. Not only are you helping to raise funds but there is chat and the social side of coming together to be enjoyed.’
Mary Creedon, RNLI Fundraising Partnership Lead hailed the work of people like Trevor and Victoria: ‘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 at sea. 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 for the RNLI on the Larne or Carrickfergus and Whitehead fundraising branches, 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.
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