New volunteers needed to join RNLI fundraising crew across the south west

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is looking for new fundraising volunteers to join its lifesaving crew across the south west.


Chris and Russell from St Ives 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.

Chris Salway and his partner Russell moved to St Ives a few years ago, following a job relocation. Chris’ parents had always supported the RNLI, so when he moved to the town, he popped his head into the lifeboat shop to see if he could get involved:

‘I was quickly appointed as a shop volunteer and soon became the Visits Officer for St Ives lifeboat and then seconded onto the committee and fundraising team. I am also now a Deputy Launch Authority (DLA) and Russell is volunteer lifeboat press officer and shore crew – we are both heavily involved with the charity and really enjoy it.

‘We have been welcomed with open arms to the RNLI and St Ives lifeboat and love how supportive everyone has been. We got married in early December and the whole crew joined our party in the evening to celebrate with us!’

In Ilminster, Gillian Pavey has been volunteering since 2010 and is now treasurer and secretary for her branch. She said: ‘I work in a nursery and feel I can use this to help with my volunteering. I am used to talking to lots of different people which I do in both of these roles. As I started volunteering before I started work, I think it helped with getting a job and my confidence levels in my daily life.

‘I enjoy mixing with a range of different people and also help raise money to save lives at sea. I also enjoy working with my team as there is three in the committee and all working together and have made lots of friendships. When I am out volunteering, I like going to different venues. I think it helps with my leadership skills in my job, improves my communication and helps me with public speaking.

‘I enjoy the flexibility of volunteering as I can choose how often to do events and the time, I can commit to volunteer around my full-time job. I like the fact that all the stock is ready to go and I can do events whenever I wish. I also enjoy how fun it is and worthwhile for a great cause.’

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.

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

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.