RNLI launches issues its own SOS to recruit new volunteers across Gwynedd
The focus of the charity’s latest recruitment drive is Criccieth, where an appeal has been launched to find a new Lifeboat Operations Manager, a Deputy Launch Authority, inshore lifeboat crew, tractor driver and fundraising volunteers.
At Criccieth, the number of operational volunteers, especially those able to provide daytime cover, has gradually reduced in recent months. The station is opening its doors to anyone keen to learn new skills and play their part in saving lives at sea. Banners are being erected in the community and any interested in joining is inviting to visit RNLI.org/volroles and see the various roles on offer.
Ifer Gwyn has been a crew member at Criccieth for over 10 years. Following in his footsteps is 17-year-old son Iago Gwyn, who joined the crew as a trainee last year.
‘Volunteering with the RNLI is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. I’ve been provided with world-class training that’s helped save lives and serve with fantastic colleagues, whilst giving something back to the local community. Being able to share that with Iago is amazing. It’s also great seeing him develop into his own person through the experiences and opportunities that he’s getting as an RNLI volunteer’.
Iago is currently working through his shore crew training units and his commitment is ready filling his dad with a huge sense of pride. RNLI volunteering also runs in the blood of the team at Aberdovey RNLI who are also recruiting.
Volunteering is a real family affair for Bethan Edwards, who followed in the footsteps of her brother and husband to join the RNLI team at Aberdovey. Her husband Paul and brother Dave were both volunteer crew members and are still active members of the station team. Her two sons Gareth and Alun and daughter Ceris are also involved. Bethan has been a volunteer at Aberdovey since 1988 and has held the roles of fundraiser, treasurer, shop volunteer, and fundraising co-ordinator. She says:
‘With my family already involved, I thought I’d join the RNLI family. My three children spent every summer in and around the lifeboat station when they were growing up. Both sons joined the crew at the age of 17, and my daughter is an active fundraiser. It’s a very fulfilling thing to do, a good way to meet lots of new friends from different walks of life, whilst supporting the work of our lifesavers.’
Pwllheli RNLI are also keen to recruit new fundraisers. Alison Hayes joined the Pwllheli fundraisers in 2015 when she retired, taking up the role of secretary before becoming Chair. She says:
‘I love both the planning and execution of big events as well as watching the joy on the faces of visitors, young and old, as they see our beautiful new Shannon class lifeboat and boathouse. I love being part of such a professional, friendly and welcoming group of men and women and learning and appreciating their roles. I’d say to anyone thinking of becoming a volunteer to just do it.’
Just like the charity’s lifeboats, the RNLI’s fundraising team need a dedicated volunteer crew. Volunteers are 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.
Nick Evans RNLI Fundraising Partnership Lead said:
‘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, or to apply, click on this link rnli.org/OneCrewVolunteers
Please find attached j-peg images of:
Bethan and her family at Aberdovey RNLI and Ifer Gwyn and his son Iago at Criccieth RNLI.
RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Relations Manager for Wales, the West and the Isle of Man on 07786 668829 or [email protected].
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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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.