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Kirkcudbright RNLI celebrate International Women's Day

Lifeboats News Release

Kirkcudbright RNLI is proud that women play a vital role in all aspects of the lifeboat station at a time when women are being championed through International Women’s Day.

Betsey and Sarah


Betsey and Sarah

Today the RNLI has men and women working in voluntary roles side by side in every area of the organisation. At a local level, Kirkcudbright RNLI is proud to be no different. The three main areas of this lifesaving charity in Kirkcudbright have women in fundraising, management and on the crew.

Women are still heavily involved in the fundraising aspect, with the current President, May Brown, overseeing a thriving group of volunteers. May has also served on the Scottish Council of the RNLI.

Other women form a vital part of the local fundraising group, three of them having recently been awarded 30-year long service medals: Janet Malone, Linda Milligan and Moira Steel. When asked about her fundraising volunteering Linda said “I have been involved for many years with the lifeboat and thoroughly enjoy my role in charge of the souvenirs. It is fun choosing all the items to sell each year. It is also so nice to meet people, locals and holidaymakers, who all very willingly support the RNLI.”

The Management Team of Kirkcudbright RNLI are also volunteers and are in charge of the day to day running of the lifeboat: the Atlantic 85 Sheila Stenhouse. Women are involved in this with Christine Collins and Emma Locke forming the media team to help raise awareness for the lifeboat station. They, like all volunteers, are always supported by the RNLI and receive very professional training as required.

Then we get to the final female members of this amazing team, the crew, traditionally a very male role, but now almost every station has at least one female crew member. Kirkcudbright is no exception with two; Betsey Jameson and Sarah Paynter. Betsey and Sarah have both received the excellent training that this organisation provides to help its crews save lives at sea. Betsey said “I really feel a part of the crew and being a woman makes no difference to the task in hand whether in training or on a shout”

Volunteering is at the heart of the RNLI and with so many different roles the choice is as diverse as the volunteers.

From the formation of a “Ladies Lifeboat Guild” in 1921 to over 100 years later the Head of Region Scotland being a woman, Jill Hepburn, the participating role of women in the RNLI has come a long way in supporting the aim of “Saving Life at Sea”

Notes to editors

· Kirkcudbright lifeboat station has been operating since 1862. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

RNLI media contacts

Christine Collins, Lifeboat Press Officer, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

RNLI/Christine Collins

Old Ladies Lifeboat Guild Badge

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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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.