‘Increasing demand’ prompts volunteer appeal from Exmouth RNLI

Exmouth RNLI is on the lookout for volunteer tour guides, fundraisers and shop staff to support its small team of dedicated helpers.

A growing number of visitors to the lifesaving charity’s seafront base has seen the cause issue the appeal.

It is hoping to net new for volunteers to help in the shop, fundraise at events and in communities, or people to help provide free tours of the lifeboat station.

The Lifeboat Visits Team hosts guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year, during school holidays and at other times for groups who book through the RNLI Exmouth website.

Lifeboat visits officer Bill Lodge said: “Over the past three-and-a-half years we have had an increasing demand from the public to visit our station and see the Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn, its launch and recovery system and D-class inshore lifeboat George Bearman II.

“We are now seeking additional guides to ensure we can provide the required coverage in the future.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about our charity and the work of our lifesaving volunteers in Exmouth.

“We hope to attract people who are enthusiastic and have good communication skills, who are confident to deliver short talks to a diverse group of visitors throughout the year.

“Training will be given and prospective visitor guides will need to commit to a minimum of two shifts per month, normally on weekends.”

The shop is open most days, with volunteers working anything from one three-and-a-half shift a month to two a week.

Exmouth is looking for people to volunteer on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays in particular.

No previous retail experience is required and full training in all aspects of the shop will be given.

Volunteer shop manager Pat Atkinson said: “Our volunteers all help for differing reasons, but they all also have a common desire to support and raise money for the RNLI to help saving lives at sea.

“Whilst some of our volunteers are of advancing years, as well as willingly giving their time to the RNLI, they also benefit from friendship and companionship from being part of one big team  – the Exmouth RNLI family.”

“We also attend many ‘outside’ events during the year, having a stall and selling RNLI merchandise and raising awareness of the RNLI, often with our community safety officer at our side.

“Examples are various community events in Exmouth town – Transplant Awareness Day, Armed Forces Day -, at the Met Office in Exeter, Budleigh Salterton Gala Week.

“Again, our volunteers give up their time to man these events and this is a great opportunity for anyone wishing to come along and join us in this rewarding work.”

The lifeboat station is also looking to increase its volunteer fundraisers.

Covering Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and the neighbouring villages of Lympstone and Woodbury, local RNLI fundraisers help to organise an open day, coffee mornings, Sea Sunday and Christmas carol services each year.

There is also a dedicated team of volunteers to carry out supermarket and street collections in all weathers.

Robin Humphreys, chairman of the Exmouth RNLI fundraising team, said “We are always looking for new volunteers, opportunities and ideas to help fundraise for our RNLI lifeboat station – so if you’d like to get involved, we’d love to hear from you.”

To volunteer for any of the roles, contact RNLI Volunteering by calling 01202 664366, email volunteering@rnli.org.uk, or click here.

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