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RNLI calls on new volunteers to join its fundraising crew in Co Down

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is looking for new volunteers to join its lifesaving crew across Co Down at its branches in Kilkeel, Downpatrick, Newcastle, Portaferry, Donaghadee and Bangor.

Donaghadee RNLI Chair Alan Couser

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.

Alan Couser is a committee member on the Donaghadee RNLI Fundraising Branch and is chair of Donaghadee RNLI. He has been volunteering for the charity for almost 23 years.

‘I became the Honorary Secretary at Donaghadee RNLI in 2000,’ Alan explains, ‘a role that later changed and became known as Lifeboat Operations Manager and I did that for 16 years. Alongside that operational role, I was also a fundraising committee member on the branch and when I stepped down as manager of the station in 2016, I stayed on the fundraising committee.

‘I have always been involved in volunteering in some capacity from the age of 23 and I joined the lifeboat in my mid-forties. I enjoy interacting with people and knowing that we are doing some good. It is very rewarding to do something for others and to help to save lives at sea at the same time.’

Mary Creedon, RNLI Fundraising Partnership Lead hails the selfless work of people such as Alan: ‘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 in Kilkeel, Downpatrick, Newcastle, Portaferry, Donaghadee and Bangor, or to apply, click on this link


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

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.