Be an occasional volunteer

Street collector. Event marshal. Cheerer. See what you can do to save lives at sea with just a few hours to spare.
RNLI Cheering Team volunteers ready to cheer on RNLI runners

Photo: RNLI / Nathan Williams

RNLI Cheering Team volunteers ready to cheer on RNLI runners

We appreciate our supporters lead busy lives and can't always offer a regular commitment.

So here are some ways you can get involved and volunteer when it’s most convenient to you.

In return, you’ll have the opportunity to get involved in our rewarding lifesaving work, meet a whole bunch of new people and learn some skills along the way.

How you can get involved

Street, store and event collections

How much can you collect with a winning smile and a bucket in 2 hours? You'd be amazed - well over £100 is not uncommon!

We organise street collections in towns and cities, and at the entrance to well-known shop chains, railway stations and large public events.

Mayday is our biggest annual fundraising campaign where thousands of RNLI volunteers across the UK and Ireland unite and take to the streets to raise essential lifesaving funds.

Running event marshalling and support

At running events we always need help to ensure RNLI runners take the right route, to cheer them on, hand out water and refreshments at the finish line, make the tea, staff the cloakroom, you name it!

Our very own Reindeer Runs in the late autumn are staged across the UK and Ireland - there's probably one near you!

Helping hands at other events

We always need helping hands at all kinds of events, including sporting events, exhibitions, nautical events, lifeboat station open days and social events.

Roles include setting up tents and marquees, staffing stalls, taking entrance fees, selling programmes, answering queries, giving directions, serving refreshments and face painters to name but a few!

Whether you can help us for a day, an evening or just a couple of hours - you can make a real difference to the smooth running of an event.

Pre-event marketing

If you can’t attend an event, maybe you can help us promote it instead.

Drum up support and commitment to activities like these at local networking groups, social events or through poster distribution.

If you have any questions about volunteering for the RNLI, visit our FAQs page.


If you can't find a relevant role, please contact our Volunteering Team to check for any other occasional volunteering opportunities in your area.

What it’s like to be an RNLI volunteer

  • Our people
    RNLI people
    Ordinary people doing extraordinary things are at the heart of the RNLI.
    Our people
  • Skegness lifeboat volunteers training in rough seas in their D class inshore lifeboat, Peterborough Beer Festival lV D-739

    The difference you will make

    How your support helps