Mayday, mayday…RNLI appeals to its Swanage supporters

The Swanage volunteer lifeboat crew is urging the town to stay at home and join in the RNLI’s annual Mayday fundraiser, which includes a lockdown detox!

The appeal starts today, Friday, 1st May 2020 and the fun continues throughout the month.


Like many organisations, the lifesaving charity is facing a challenge when it comes to income, as all its planned fundraising events have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still needs to raise cash

However, with the volunteer lifeboat crews, including our one in Swanage, still on call 24/7 to save lives at sea, the charity needs to raise cash to fund its work.

Swanage Lifeboat Coxswain, Dave Turnbull said:

“To continue to encourage the great effort people have been making to stay at home wherever possible, the RNLI annual fundraiser, Mayday, is a little different this year, as we are asking our supporters to do what they can to fundraise from home! We really hope that our local community will get involved in some of the Mayday home activities.”

Cuppa with the crew poster

This year, across the south west, the RNLI crews have been scratching their heads and have come up with a number of events and challenges that people can do from their own home:

  • Cuppa with the Crew – a Facebook Live event at 10.30 – 11 am on Friday 1st May 2020. This is where people can join Rich Withey and Nat Simmons from Appledore RNLI Lifeboat Station in Devon for a cuppa, ask questions and enjoy a well-deserved tea break via Facebook. The idea is to donate the price of a cuppa to the RNLI. To join in visit the Facebook page
  • Step to it for Mayday – which asks people to take part in a daily step challenge, whether it be laps around the house, a hike up the stairs or a stroll through the garden. Supporters can choose a variety of different targets, depending on their ability, in a bid to raise money through sponsorship or donation.
  • Lifesaver Quiz – use video-calling software to test your friends’ and family’s general knowledge skills by hosting an online lifesaver quiz. The RNLI can even provide some questions. Swanage crew member, Matt has already taken on the quiz master challenge. See how it’s done here
  • H2Only – This challenges people to ditch their favourite tipple, cups of coffee or cans of fizzy and only drink water for ten days – a lockdown detox! Supporters can either get sponsorship or donate the money they would have spent on alcohol or coffee over the ten days. This could prove more challenging than the Swanage Triathlon for some!

RNLI Fundraising, marketing and media director, Jayne George, said:

“While many fundraising events and gatherings have been cancelled, our brave lifeboat volunteers are still responding to their pagers and launching in lockdown. So, we are encouraging our supporters to take on fundraising challenges at home. That way they will be able to help protect our lifesavers, while also keeping themselves and others safe.

“Our charity is powered by the public’s generosity and we are so grateful for their support during this difficult time.”

During the lockdown, so many aspects of life have had to adapt to the coronavirus restrictions and this is also true for the Swanage crew. Dave Turnbull said:

“Our volunteer lifeboat crew have made changes too. We’ve continued to train weekly from home through video calls and this has worked well to keep everyone in touch and to maintain our lifesaving skills.”

To make a donation, visit the RNLI’s website

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