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Scotmid donation helps local RNLI lifesavers at Arbroath learn vital skills

Lifeboats News Release

Recently recruited RNLI volunteer crew members at 15 lifeboat stations across Scotland will have a full year of training funded by Scotmid.


Jacob joined the crew at Arbroath RNLI 4 years ago and knows firsthand how important training is to volunteer crew members.

Dedicated volunteers make up 95% of people in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), with nine out of ten RNLI crew members having no previous maritime experience. RNLI crew members rely on their training to be able to continue to save lives at sea and return home to their loved ones safe and sounds after every rescue.

Training hones boat handling skills, encourages teamwork and enables lifeboat crews to make the right decisions at key moments in any rescue. Intensive initial and ongoing training takes place at our lifeboat stations throughout Scotland and is complemented by specialist courses delivered at the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset.

It costs an average £1,400 to fully train one crew member each year. This year, Scotmid, a co-operative society at the heart of Scotland, committed to supporting local communities through investment, has pledged to make a donation of £21,000 to the RNLI. This will fund a full year of training for one volunteer crew member at each of the 15 lifeboat stations in Scotland that are within five miles of a Scotmid and/or Semichem store.

The support will ensure that volunteer crew have the best possible chance of saving everyone, every time.

Paul McKeown, Fundraising Lead for RNLI in Scotland, says: We rely on donations to power our lifesaving work and our volunteers are the lifeblood of the RNLI. It’s important to make sure they are equipped with the right skills and the training so we can continue to provide the service that we have done for nearly 200 years.

'The support from Scotmid will see training happen for lifeboat crew members at 15 different lifeboat stations across Scotland. On behalf of the RNLI, I’d like to say a big thank you to all the members and customers of Scotmid for supporting the RNLI and helping us to continue to save lives at sea.’

Jacob has been on the crew at Arbroath RNLI for 4 years. He knows firsthand how vital training is for volunteer crew members.

‘The training is so important as volunteers come from all different backgrounds and professions. When we are out there, in all kinds of conditions and situations, we need to all be on the same page with every task we do and execute everything as safely and efficiently as possible.

‘Training with the RNLI is somewhat special. The RNLI college in Poole is designed to accommodate the needs for every crew member to be trained on their specific lifeboat, every crew role, and develop the skills to continue progressing.

‘The skills we learn are specific to lifeboats, but they’re also applicable in every day life. For example, as a trained casualty care crew member, I put the training to use outside of the station anytime it is needed. The training has given me the skills and confidence to execute tasks like it is second nature.

‘This incredibly generous donation from Scotmid will allow us to train yet another priceless lifesaver.'

Without continuous crew training and assessment, the RNLI lifeboat crews across the country would not be able to respond as quickly and efficiently to emergencies out at sea.

Notes to editors

· Scotmid is providing funding to train 15 crew members at 15 RNLI lifeboat stations across Scotland, totalling £21,000. The 15 RNLI lifeboat stations are all within 5 miles of a Scotmid store and include: Aberdeen, Arbroath, Buckie, Fraserburgh, Helensburgh Kessock, Largs, Loch Ness, Macduff, Oban, Peterhead, Queensferry, Stranraer and Thurso.

RNLI media contacts

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

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.