RNLI volunteer gives it some welly for Mayday campaign

SELLING BADGES ... RNLI volunteer Alex Richards.

SELLING BADGES ... RNLI volunteer Alex Richards.

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AN RNLI volunteer was “giving it some welly” today to swell her fundraising efforts for the charity’s national campaign.

Alex Richards is selling yellow Wellington boot pin badges to staff, students and the public from a stall in the foyer of South Tyneside College, where she works as head of student services and marketing.

I hope people will respond to our call by supporting our Mayday fundraising events.

Alex Richards, RNLI volunteer

It is part of the sea rescue service’s first national Mayday campaign, which will run for four days across the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Alex’s initiative has been organised by Sunderland Lifeboat Station, where she is a volunteer crew member.

She said: “The RNLI’s dedicated volunteer lifeboat crews are always ready to respond to the mayday calls of those in distress at sea.

“I hope people will respond to our call by supporting our Mayday fundraising events.

“RNLI lifeboat crews are volunteers, who are willing to give up their time and put their own lives at risk to rescue those in danger around our coastline. I hope people will get behind us and show their support.”

The RNLI operates 237 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland and last year its crews launched 8,462 times, rescuing 8,727 people and saving 368 lives.

Members are also holding street collections and other fundraisers around the country.

Most have a ‘welly’ theme in a nod to yellow Wellingtons – an essential piece of kit worn by the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew members.

The charity is calling on people to show their support by donating, taking part in an event, buying and wearing a yellow welly pin badge, or showing their support on social media by using the hashtag #YellowWelly.

To donate, visit RNLI.org/Mayday or text MAYDAY to 70007 to donate £3.

Volunteers make up 95 per cent of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew.

The RNLI, which was founded in 1824, also has more than 1,000 lifeguards on more than 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team.

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul