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RNLI calls on new volunteers to join its fundraising crew in Kildare

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is looking for new fundraising volunteers to join its lifesaving crew at its North Kildare branch.

Janella and John Fitzmaurice

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.

Janella and John Fitzmaurice have been fundraising for the RNLI since 2003. Despite moving from Celbridge in Kildare to Mountbellew in Galway, distance has proved to be no barrier as Janella is chair of the branch while her husband John is a former chair and current committee member.

The couple regularly make the almost two hour drive up from Galway to attend various fundraising meetings and events including collecting outside Ryan’s Bar in Beggars Bush during concerts and rugby matches at the Aviva. While getting enjoyment out of volunteering and meeting people, they say the reward is in knowing they are helping to power the lifesaving work of the RNLI’s crew.

‘It is such a good cause’ they explain. ‘We say that we go out in the rain, but the lifeboat crew go out in the storms. The volunteer crew go out in rough seas and they can put their lives at risk. We do very little in comparison, but we do our bit by fundraising. There is great enjoyment in it. We enjoy the camaraderie and we have made friends for life through the RNLI. When we are out collecting, we hear different stories from people of how they have been rescued and they are all so thankful. I remember at a quiz night we were running in Celbridge, we had an impromptu encounter with a man who was rescued and we were able to present him with an RNLI t-shirt, it was a poignant moment. On another occasion when collecting outside a rugby match, one man approached us from Scotland and told us he was a fisherman and had been rescued three times by the RNLI, and two weeks later another man, this time from Ireland told us he too had been rescued three times. So, we get so much out of volunteering, so much happiness and fulfilment.’

Mary Creedon, RNLI Fundraising Partnership Lead hails the selfless efforts of people like Janella and John: ‘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 at the RNLI in Kildare, or to apply, click on this link rnli.org/OneCrewVolunteers

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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.

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.