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Scotmid donation helps local RNLI lifesavers at Largs 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.

RNLI/Claire McRae

Janet pictured with fellow crew members at Largs rnLI

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.’

Janet first joined the RNLI in April 2019 on the Isle of Arran but recently joined the crew at Largs RNLI.

‘Island life inevitably weaves you into the fabric of that community and it felt like a wonderful privledge to be able to volunteer and serve for the RNLI. The RNLI has been like a big family that has welcomed me and encouraged me to learn and grow in an area that was new to me.

‘Training allows us to continue to learn, grow and adapt to changes. The RNLI values training as it keeps us all answerable to our skills and without it we would be lost!

‘I have been working through my Atlantic 85 crew training, boat handling had been a key cornerstone in this. Man overboard training and emergency procedures training have been really important, getting the crew to practice working together in sometimes difficult situations. It certainly gets the pulse going and heightens all your senses when you work through the steps.

'The donation from Scotmid allows us to continue to save lives at sea. It allows us to make a difference to our community. Thank you Scotmid for your donation toward training, this allows us to safely continue to help others. '

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.