RNLI calls on new volunteers to join its fundraising crew in Louth
The RNLI is looking for new fundraising volunteers to join its lifesaving crew in its Clogherhead/Drogheda and North Louth branches.
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.
Mary Hayes is chair of Clogherhead RNLI’s Fundraising Branch and has been volunteering for over 20 years.
‘Shortly after I moved into my house which is directly across from the lifeboat station in Clogherhead’, Mary explains, ‘I saw an advertisement in the local paper looking for volunteers in the area and that is how I first got involved. I was fundraising for a year and a half and was the vice-chair at the time when the chair retired, and I stepped up. I have been the chair of the branch now for 18 years.’
Mary leads a team of approximately 10 volunteers, but the branch is supported by many others for keys events during the year: ‘We have a dedicated group who attend regular meetings as we plan ahead but we are supported by a great group of friends of the lifeboat who we can call on for collections, tea and coffee mornings and other events. I find the social end of being involved very rewarding and I loved seeing the community come together when we were raising funds for our new Shannon class lifeboat. A lot of the people who were based outside of the community but involved in key events such as the Night at the Oskars, would still join in.’
Living as close as she does to the lifeboat station, Mary also has regular first-hand experience of watching the volunteer crew gather when the pager goes off to help someone in need: ‘It is very emotional when you know the people who are going out on the lifeboat and their family and children when conditions are not always favourable at sea.’
Mary is now encouraging anyone who is interested in volunteering to either get involved with the North Louth or Clogherhead/Drogheda fundraising branches.
This is something echoed by Mary Creedon, RNLI Fundraising Partnership Lead who hails the selfless efforts of people like Mary: ‘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 at the Clogherhead/Drogheda or North Louth 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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