East Yorkshire News

Extra shop volunteers needed to help save lives at sea in Yorkshire

The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) is looking for extra shop volunteers to join its lifesaving team at Whitby, Scarborough, and Bridlington.

The shop at Scarborough lifeboat station recently celebrated reaching more sales than any other RNLI shop in the country in January.

Just like the charity’s lifeboats, the RNLI’s retail team need a dedicated volunteer crew -people of all ages and abilities – who can give a little time to help save lives at sea.

Wendy McGauley, RNLI Regional Engagement Lead (North and East) explained: ‘You can gain some invaluable skills and training whilst volunteering at one of our charity’s shops and become part of an incredible team.

‘If you enjoy meeting and interacting with people, are confident in handling money, it really is a role you will love.’

RNLI shops started out as simple cake stalls run by volunteers to raise money for their local lifeboat station.

These stalls started selling commemorative RNLI products in around 1920 and quickly moved on to selling souvenirs and Christmas cards with all profits helping save lives at sea.

Wendy further explained: ‘The first shop to be run as part of an actual lifeboat station opened in 1990. Today, we have over 170 RNLI shops around the coast and inland, all of which are still run by our dedicated volunteers. They attract many visitors throughout the year and stock an excellent range of unique souvenirs and gifts.

‘The pandemic unfortunately hit our shops hard as they closed for periods of time in line with Covid-19 restrictions. We were delighted when we could reopen them safely in accordance with government guidance and are looking forward to welcoming our visitors during 2022. To do this successfully, we want to grow our team of shop volunteers and are looking for people who enjoy interacting with others, can help us to provide a high level of customer service and ensure our shops continue to be friendly and welcoming places.’

To find out more about how you can help generate vital funds, promote the work of the RNLI, and apply, go to: https://rnli.org/support-us/volunteer/volunteering-opportunities (then use the search function to select the shop location that you’re interested in).

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