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London Welsh Male Voice Choir President's Concert planned for RNLI bicentenary

Lifeboats News Release

London Welsh Male Voice Choir will sing to save lives at a special concert on Thursday 9th May at 7pm to mark 200 years of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Male choir members of varying ages stand singing in a church nave wearing red blazer uniforms

RNLI/London Welsh Male Voice Choir

London Welsh Male Voice Choir will give a concert for the RNLI on London Lifeboat Day, 9 May

The event has been organised by supporters from the choir and will take place at St Clement Dane Church, The Strand, London. The programme includes guest soloists Eleanor Woods (Soprano) Owain Rowlands (Baritone).

President of London Welsh Male Voice Choir Russell Harris KC said: ‘The London Welsh Male Voice Choir is delighted to support the RNLI with a concert as it celebrates 200 years of brave volunteer crews saving lives at sea.

‘The charity relies on volunteers and the kind donations of members of the public and organisations like ours to help it in its mission to save every one.

‘The concert is an opportunity to commemorate the humble crews spanning two centuries, celebrate the world-class organisation the RNLI has become, and inspire our audience to become the supporters and crew of the future.’

Special guests include the RNLI Chair Janet Legrand OBE KC. All proceeds from the concert are in support of the RNLI.

It comes on London Lifeboat Day - an annual fundraising day where RNLI supporters and volunteers take to the capital’s railway and Tube stations with their collection buckets and contactless devices to receive donations. This year will be different because all collectors will be wearing replica crew kit to form a highly visible sea of RNLI yellow in non-railway locations that include Trafalgar Square, Borough Market and Waterloo Bridge.

The London Welsh Male Voice Choir will support Lifeboat Day fundraising activities, providing a vocal interlude in a hour-long rush hour performance at Waterloo Station before the evening concert.

Founded in a London tavern on 4 March 1824 following an appeal from Sir William Hillary, who lived on the Isle of Man and witnessed many shipwrecks, the RNLI has continued saving lives at sea throughout the tests of its history, including tragic disasters, funding challenges and two World Wars.

Two centuries have seen vast developments in the lifeboats and kit used by the charity’s lifesavers – from the early oar-powered vessels to today’s technology-packed boats, which are now built in-house by the charity; and from the rudimentary cork lifejackets of the 1850s to the full protective kit each crew member is now issued with.

The RNLI’s lifesaving reach and remit has also developed over the course of 200 years. Today, it operates 238 lifeboat stations, including four on the River Thames, and has seasonal lifeguards on over 240 lifeguarded beaches around the UK and Ireland. It designs and builds its own lifeboats and runs domestic and international water safety programmes.

While much has changed in 200 years, two things have remained the same – the charity’s dependence on volunteers, who give their time and commitment to save others, and the voluntary contributions from the public which have funded the service for the past two centuries.

The RNLI has four stations on the River Thames at Gravesend, Tower, Chiswick and Teddington. Representatives from each station will be collecting on London Lifeboat Day.

In addition to the London Welsh Presidents concert, The RNLI’s Sing to Save Lives initiative invites choirs to put on their own concerts featuring a collection of songs and music which can be downloaded for free from ChoirCommunity, a marketplace for choral music. To register for Sing to Save Lives email: [email protected].

Tickets to the London Welsh Presidents concert cost £30 and are available at

Notes to Editors:

About the RNLI:

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. You can find out more about bicentenary plans and activities here

RNLI media contacts:

For more information please contact Regional Communications Manager Beth Robson at [email protected] or Media Engagement Placement Izzy Coley at [email protected]. Or contact the RNLI Press Office on 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.