Life-saving RNLI in need of volunteers with demand for service on the rise

PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:06 19 July 2017

Burnham RNLI crews and their new lifeboat.

Burnham RNLI crews and their new lifeboat.

Archant

Burnham RNLI has issued a plea for more volunteers as demand has increased for its life-saving work.

The organisation is in need of crew members, fundraisers and volunteers for the town’s shop.

Matt Davies, who is the operations manager at Burnham RNLI told the Mercury it is ‘crucial’ they find the volunteers they need as they are called out on such a regular basis.

He also added that anyone can volunteer, and they don’t have to be a swimmer.

He said: “For any charity, fundraising is a big part as our equipment and running the station is expensive.

“It is often hard getting day time cover as people work in Bristol, or further away.

“As an organisation, we need to be available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

“It can also be tough in Burnham as not only do we need life-saving crew, we need people available to help us get boats to the shore as we have a way to travel to get to the water.”

Anyone who is interested in joining the team will get full training and Mr Davies hopes people are not put off by a fear of water.

He added: “You do not have to like the water, or be a swimmer. We value all volunteers and we can find a role for them. Some people are out on the lifeboats one day and in the shop the next.

“In a town like Burnham having crew is so important and if you live 15-20 minutes away and can help cover the day call-outs that would be excellent.”

Fundraising chairman Lesley Hart said: “Every day of every year, people of all backgrounds get into danger in the water. It’s a problem we’re here to tackle.

“You don’t have to like water to volunteer for the RNLI. We are keen to recruit new volunteers for the fundraising team as well as lifeboat crew.

“We hold a lot of fundraising events throughout the year, from street collections to the colour run and the annual lifeboat ball.”

To find out how to volunteer, visit www.burnham-on-searnli.org.uk

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