Lauded Lough Ree RNLI fundraising branch calls on new volunteers to join lifesaving crew

Just like the charity’s lifeboats, the RNLI’s fundraising team need a dedicated volunteer crew, volunteers being at the heart of the RNLI and comprising 95% of its people.

They are ordinary people who do extraordinary things and without them, the organisation couldn’t continue to save lives at sea and on inland waters, but it’s not all about volunteering on lifeboats or at a station, there are many other ways people can give a little or a lot of their time to support the RNLI and make their own lifesaving difference.

Eileen Browne is the souvenir secretary on the Lough Ree RNLI Fundraising Branch and has been a volunteer for approximately eight years. Her fundraising work is varied throughout the year and includes a variety of tasks such as co-ordinating the sale of gifts, toys and souvenirs at a pop up shop.

“I am originally from Dublin but live in Athlone. My father was from Athlone and when we were children we spent our summers on a cruiser on the river, it was an idyllic childhood. Having been on the water as a child and having a family with a boat, I have always been anxious about the importance of water safety,” Eileen stated.

It was through Eileen’s membership at Lough Ree Yacht Club that she was asked by fellow club member Vincent Rafter, the Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Treasurer, if she would get involved and she hasn’t looked back.

She finds the work of those on the branch rewarding.

“I feel I am helping the lifeboat to function, the volunteer crew need it all and it is such a worthy cause. I also lost a brother to drowning on the River Barrow and that is always in the back of my mind.’

“There is a job for everybody whether they are water people or not, we are always looking for volunteers. It is very rewarding to see the success of our efforts and there is a social aspect, it is great meeting people,” Eileen, encouraging others to get involved, added.

Mary Creedon, RNLI Fundraising Partnership Lead, hailed the selfless efforts of people like Eileen.

“Without our volunteers, the RNLI simply would not be able to operate the way it does today. With 92% of the RNLI’s income coming from donations, the charity relies on the generosity of supporters and on the dedication of our fundraising volunteers to help raise essential funds. Thousands of community fundraising volunteers organise a wide range of activities and events each year, contributing their time, energy and skills to raise money to save lives at sea and on inland waters. Some of our fundraisers have been volunteering for many years while some just join us for a few months in the year depending on what their commitments allow.

“We now really need to bolster that support and grow our volunteer fundraising crew. If you like to have fun, enjoy meeting new people and want to join a motivated and enthusiastic team, we encourage you to find out more and apply. You will learn new skills, gain experience and have the rewarding satisfaction of giving back. The RNLI will also provide all the necessary training and support so you can carry out your chosen role effectively,” Mary asserted.

To find out more about how you can sign up to be a fundraising volunteer at the RNLI at Lough Ree, or to apply, click on this link


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