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Fresh off the press: New Lifeboat Press Officers for Gravesend RNLI Station

Lifeboats News Release

Gravesend RNLI has two new volunteer Lifeboat Press Officers, Ashley Bard and Helena Lane, who will be expanding on their existing station roles to help promote the story of one of the RNLI's busiest stations.

RNLI/Helena Lane

The attached photo shows the new Gravesend RNLI Station Lifeboat Press Officers, Ashley Bard (left) and Helena Lane (right), in the kit they wear for their other volunteer roles within the RNLI.

Ashley brings his knowledge from the world of media, working in national radio as head of brand sound design for Global. He has also recently joined the RNLI lifeboat crew as a volunteer trainee in March 2023.

He said: 'Growing up around the coast, I have always admired the RNLI and been amazed at how the volunteers saved lives as sea. It is an honour to now be part of the charity and offer my support in this Lifeboat Press Officer role, in which I can use skills from my career'.

Helena has volunteered with the RNLI as a youth education presenter for the last four years and has a brother who is a volunteer trainee crew member for Gravesend Lifeboat station. Helena studied ocean science at university and now works as both a marine consultant and a bird ranger.

She added: 'I am excited to be a part of the team of staff and volunteers at Gravesend Station who all contribute to saving lives on the Thames. The station has been operating on this 26-mile stretch of coast, from the Thames Flood Barrier to Holehaven Creek, for over 20 years now. There is plenty to get involved with, especially with the 200th anniversary of the RNLI next year'.

The role of the Lifeboat Press Officer (LPO) is to promote and raise awareness of Gravesend Lifeboat Station and their activity, ranging from rescues and fundraising to crew background, events or anniversaries. To do this, they write press releases, use social media, and liaise with local media.

The outgoing LPO of 10 years, Alan Carr, will gladly not be leaving the team. He remains part of the Gravesend boat crew – a volunteer role he has been doing for 13 years already.

RNLI Media Contacts

Helena Lane, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Gravesend RNLI on 07809 683 883 or email [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (London and South East), on 02076 207 425 or 07785 296 252, or email [email protected]

Julie Rainey, Regional Media Manager (South East), on 07827 358 256 or email [email protected]

RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [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 over 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 142,200 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.

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.

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