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New volunteers needed to join RNLI fundraising crew in Dorset

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is looking for new fundraising volunteers to join its lifesaving crew in Dorset.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Chris Copeland from Sherborne 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.

Chris Copeland is branch chair of Sherborne RNLI. He said: ‘I get tremendous satisfaction from knowing that my RNLI branch in Sherborne has raised funds that are helping to save lives at sea. I’ve made new friends. I have a small committee – we all get on well. It’s just a great little community.

‘In addition to street collections, we also hold annual garden parties and fish suppers. And we have a committee chair who jumps out of an aeroplane and persuades others to do the same (that’s me!). I’ve helped raise £84,000 from sponsored tandem skydiving jumps so far, and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon – I’m planning my 800th jump to celebrate my 80th birthday next year.

‘As chair, I have to be prepared to put the time in and support the rest of my team. But you don’t need to be on the fundraising committee to be a fundraising volunteer. For our annual street collection, for instance, the more people who come and help the better – we never have enough. Extra volunteers are always very welcome.

If you’re unsure about joining, just give it a go and see how you get on. You don’t need any previous fundraising experience because there’s plenty of help at hand. If things don’t work out or it’s just not right for you, you can stop at any time or try another role.’

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.