Recognition and awards

Our volunteers are at the heart of the RNLI. Without all our volunteers – crew, lifeguards, fundraisers, education presenters, shop, community safety, museum and others – the RNLI wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea.

A group of RNLI volunteers standing alongside their lifeboat on a beach on a sunny day. They are holding up cards spelling the word ‘thank you’.

Photo: Greg Wolstenholme

Volunteers deserve recognition for the incredible contribution they make to saving lives at sea.  

We have a range of awards recognising both the service and efforts of RNLI volunteers, including Excellence in Volunteering Awards, Long Service Awards and informal thank you cards.  

Take a look at some of the different types of RNLI awards and how you can help celebrate and recognise our incredible volunteers.

Excellence in Volunteering Awards

With our Excellence in Volunteering Awards, RNLI volunteers and staff members can nominate volunteers who deserve special recognition for going above and beyond in their role and have made a difference to their team or community.

When submitting your application, please include as much information, facts and figures as possible, including specific examples of what they have done to go the extra mile and what impact this has had.

We aim to let you know the result of your nomination within 3 weeks. If you have any questions, please contact

Submit your nomination

Long Service Awards

The RNLI is proud to have such long-serving volunteers. We recognise their dedication and commitment with Long Service Awards.

Requests for 2022 Long Service Awards will open in early 2022.

You can view our Long Service Award winners for 2021 and 2020 on our Long Service Awards page. If you have any questions or want to let us know about someone in your team who is a long-standing volunteer and should receive an award, please get in touch at

Supporter awards

RNLI supporters play a vital role in saving lives at sea. Supporters are any person or business who is not registered as a volunteer, but raises funds or awareness on our behalf. These include local businesses and individuals who have organised one-off fundraisers or schools. If you know of a supporter who deserves recognition, please email including as much information as possible.  

Just want to say thank you?

Has someone helped you in your role at the RNLI? Perhaps they’ve helped you learn the ropes, taught you a new skill or offered their time or skills to help you in your role?  

Why not take a moment to make them smile by saying ‘thank you!’ 

We have a range of thank you cards available on our online ordering system, or you can order a selection by emailing

Any questions?

If you have a question, our team is here to help, please get in touch at