Lifeboat charity, the RNLI, is about to launch an island-wide search for volunteers to form a team that will help raise £1M to improve its lifeboat station in Cowes.
Fundraisers for the charity that saves lives at sea are looking to recruit a band of enthusiastic people on the Isle of Wight, to help them raise the money needed to move the lifeboat station in the town to a new location.
The current Cowes lifeboat station is a small, temporary facility within Shepherds Wharf marina, but the RNLI is preparing to refurbish the old Custom House in Cowes, near the mouth of the River Medina, to make it the lifeboat’s new home.
Although the RNLI has already purchased the old Custom House building, the charity aims to raise £1M to cover the original purchase costs and fully refurbish the building to turn it into a replacement lifeboat station. As well as providing more space for the dedicated volunteer lifeboat crew, the new location is expected to reduce the time lifeboat launching time by four minutes. This will mean the lifeboat can get to casualties quicker and could prove crucial in helping the volunteer crew save more lives out at sea.
With a view to raising the £1M target, the charity is holding a special ‘recruitment’ day in a bid to attract people who are prepared to spare their time and skills to help. Claire Timbrell, Community Fundraising Manager for the RNLI, said: ‘This is an exciting time for the RNLI, as we prepare to launch the £1M appeal for Cowes. The way the RNLI runs such appeals is changing. We plan to work with the existing local fundraising branch and the wider community to form a ‘local appeal team’. This will consist of new and existing volunteers who will each fundraise in specialist areas, e.g. with local businesses, with young people, with local media etc.
‘We have many new and interesting ideas as to how these local teams will work together, supported by RNLI staff, hence we‘re holding this recruitment evening so people can find out more. Whether people are looking to add valuable volunteering experience to their CV or are interested in the social side of things, we’d really like to see as many people as possible on the night.’
The event takes place at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, The Parade, Cowes on Monday 28 February, at 7pm. The RNLI is asking anyone who is keen to find out more to come along.
Mark Southwell, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Cowes RNLI lifeboat station, said: ‘Where we’re based currently the lifeboat is exposed to the elements and is in a location that is far from ideal in operational terms. That is why the RNLI is launching the appeal. The crew will of course be helping with fundraising, but we need more help from people in the community – I am confident that if we can access the contacts and the skills of people on the island, we’ll be well on the way to reaching our fundraising target.’
The recruitment evening on 28 February will be followed by more formal events which will result in appointments to the local appeal team.
For more information about the evening or the volunteer opportunities on offer, contact Claire Timbrell, Community Fundraising Manager for the RNLI, at Claire_timbrell@rnli.org.uk Full descriptions of the different volunteering roles on offer are also available to view on the RNLI’s website at http://bit.ly/hSJ8Q0