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Developing volunteering at the RNLI now and for the future

From delivering workshops to planning our approach for the future, lots is happening at the RNLI to support our incredible volunteers.

Volunteering Development Team

To help keep both volunteers and staff informed about what support is available for volunteers, the RNLI’s Volunteering Development Team will be sharing a regular update with tips, information, resources, learning opportunities and news about how we are supporting volunteering to thrive across the RNLI – both now and for the next 200 years of lifesaving. 

First, who are the Volunteering Development Team?

We’re here to support and advise on all aspects of volunteering across the RNLI.  We provide advice and guidance, develop resources, run workshops, gain views and input via the Volunteer Feedback Group, run the Family Support Programme and look after formal volunteer and supporter recognition plus a range of other activities. 

We are here for the development of the overall volunteer experience to ensure volunteering thrives now and for the future. 

Volunteering for the future 

Volunteers are at the heart of the RNLI, and as we are nearing our 200th anniversary in 2024, we know a lot of people are thinking about what the RNLI will look like over the next 200 years. Through the years the way people choose to give their time has changed and it will continue to evolve, so we know it’s important to keep developing volunteering at the RNLI, to sustain our lifesaving service for the future. 

Here are some of the ways we are looking to the future:

  • Reviewing and adapting our volunteer roles and identifying new opportunities for people to get involved in different ways. 
  • Testing new ways we recruit volunteers, including making it easy to apply for roles, using more social media and developing new resource and recruitment materials. If you have had success recruiting for volunteers in a different way in your community, we'd love to hear about it so please do let us know by emailing [email protected].
  • Working with a range of external organisations to develop our offering to younger audiences
  • Setting up a new working / feedback group made up of volunteers aged 18 – 25 from different roles across the organisation to help shape our future approach on how we recruit, engage, and recognise young people. We will be sure to keep you updated on this and in the meantime if you are/know a young volunteer in the RNLI and would like to take part, please do complete/share the short form here: Shaping the Future - Young People in the RNLI. We are excited to be holding our first session mid-September. 

As part of the youth development work, we are trialling a new Duke Of Edinburgh programme in the south east and will be able to share further news soon. 

A welcome for new volunteers

One crew welcome sessions

These online, monthly sessions for all new volunteers cover key information about the RNLI and the next steps in your volunteering journey. You can find more information on the Volunteer Zone. Please spread the word and encourage all new volunteers to book on.


The following courses are available to all staff and volunteers at the RNLI.

Volunteer manager workshops: For anyone who manages volunteers as part of their role or is keen to in the future, we have a suite of workshops to support you: 

Workshop 1 - Recruitment, selection and induction (online)

  • Friday 1 December, 9.30am to noon  

Workshop 2 - Ongoing volunteer management and recognition (online)

  • Friday 8 December, 9.30am to noon

All day volunteer managers’ workshop (workshops 1 & 2 combined, in person)

  • Tuesday 28 November, Poole

Volunteer problem solving (online)

  • Wednesday 18 October, 1.30pm to 4pm (1 space left!)

To book your place, please email [email protected], or use the links above to the Learning Zone (if you have access). 

Here’s what our volunteers have to say about the workshops:

'I found the most useful part of the workshop was recruitment and ideas for advertising volunteer roles in the community - some really great, simple to execute ideas and I'm looking forward to trying some of them out. The overview of the resources available was also incredibly useful.'

'I found all the workshop excellent for brushing up on my skills.'

Get in touch

Thank you for reading this update. We hope you enjoy the first instalment but if you do have any feedback or questions, please do get in touch our team here. You can find resources and sessions available to help you in your role on Volunteer Zone