The RNLI has launched its Christmas appeal after losing millions in income when fundraising activities had to be paused amid the pandemic.
Additional PPE and adapting to coronavirus restrictions has been challenging for the volunteer crew members, staff and lifeguards who have faced an extraordinary summer.
The lifesaving charity has spent £1.2M to ensure its volunteer lifeboat crews and beach lifeguards had PPE during the crisis. In total the RNLI brought in 6.7 million units of Covid-19 PPE including almost 700,000 face masks, 2.4 million gloves and just under 5,000 litres of hand sanitiser. This was money the charity had not planned to spend, at a time when RNLI shops were forced to close and fundraising events were cancelled.
With a target of £2.05M, the RNLI Christmas appeal will feature parents of RNLI crew members explaining how they feel when their sons or daughters drop everything to save the lives of strangers, often in treacherous conditions. One of the parents featured is Emma Fairbairn whose son, Kieran, volunteers at the Dunbar Lifeboat Station.
Emma said: “It can be difficult seeing Kieran leave when the pager goes. I worry about him and what he might go through when he is out on a shout. Even at Christmas, I know that Kieran might have to drop everything and run out the door to go and save someone’s life.”
Crew member Kieran said: “The best Christmas gift RNLI volunteers like me can wish for is a kind donation to our Christmas appeal. Funds raised will provide the lifesaving kit I need when I am out saving lives in all weathers. We have had a very challenging summer, rescuing those in difficulty in the midst of a pandemic and more visitors to the coast.”
Kieran is not the only one leaving his family behind. Across the UK and Ireland, RNLI lifesavers will be leaving their families this Christmas to rescue those in difficulty.
To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal visit:RNLI.org/Xmas