New volunteers needed to join RNLI fundraising crew across Devon

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is looking for new fundraising volunteers to join its lifesaving crew across Devon.


Andrew and Beverley Knowles from Teignmouth RNLI

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.

The RNLI is looking for lots of new volunteers to join branches and stations across Cornwall in a range of roles, all contributing to raising vital funds for the charity to continue saving lives at sea.

Martin Thomson is the fundraising chairman for Plymouth RNLI and has been volunteering for seven years. He is also box collection secretary and the shop manager.

He said: ‘I previously worked for the Royal Navy and own a small boat, so I wanted to help to raise funds for a worthwhile cause. The RNLI team have become like family and meeting the members of public is something I love doing, whether in the shop or at events. The best part of volunteering is knowing you are helping to keep our crews safe and able to respond to any emergency at sea, saving lives at sea.’

Martin was recognised with a Platinum champions award for his outstanding contribution as a volunteer in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, presented by the Queen Consort.

In Teignmouth, Beverley and Adrian Knowles joined the fundraising team in 2019. Beverley, who is now treasurer, says: ‘We’ve always supported the RNLI as members, even before moving to the coast in 2013 but, as an accountant and working full time, I didn’t really know what I could do practically as a volunteer. Then I was sent an advert asking for a volunteer treasurer in Teignmouth. I contacted the team but the role had already been filled so I was asked if I’d be interested in joining as the assistant – which I jumped at.

‘I’ve been able to bring my financial skills to the team and work with them to develop our fundraising opportunities.

‘I love that we make a difference and can see how our fundraising helps – not only in Teignmouth but the wider communities. Volunteering is great – you’re working in a team, having fun and meeting all sorts of people – all while raising funds for the RNLI. We’re relatively new to the area and so we’ve also made a lot of new friends both within the team and through our volunteering activities.’

Adrian is now the fundraising chair at Teignmouth. He says: ‘I feel a great pride to volunteer for the RNLI and every time I attend any function as a representative of the RNLI I am honoured. The best part is the team spirit, meeting new people and knowing that however much time a volunteer can give it all helps to saving lives at sea.’

Dave Nicoll, 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


Notes to editors

Attached is an image of Martin, and of Beverley and Adrian.


Martin Thomson, from Plymouth RNLI

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.