The RNLI is encouraging people around the UK and Ireland to save lives at sea by fundraising at home for its annual Mayday fundraising appeal, which launches today (1 May) and runs throughout the month.
Although we’re all being asked to stay home at the moment, the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews are still on-call 24/7, ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice when the pager sounds, to go out into the unknown and save lives at sea.
The charity is calling on the public to help raise funds for its vital lifesaving service by grabbing a cuppa, joining a step count challenge, or ditching their favourite tipple for its online Mayday appeal.
Mayday normally sees people taking part in group fundraising events around the UK and Ireland but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the RNLI is taking the campaign online.
Although RNLI lifeboat stations remain on call for those in difficulty in the water, like many other UK and Irish charities and businesses, the RNLI is facing challenges when it comes to income. With all RNLI fundraising events being cancelled due to the current global pandemic, the charity has launched a virtual Mayday appeal.
Following the success of the charity’s recent Facebook Live Water Safety Wednesdays and Virtual Pub Quiz, the RNLI has launched ‘Cuppa with the Crew’, a Facebook Live session on Friday 1 May, where followers can join Rich and Natalie from Appledore RNLI Lifeboat Station for a cuppa, ask questions and enjoy a well-deserved tea break.
Supporters are asked to make a small donation of the price they would usually pay for a takeaway coffee or tea.
Also, the RNLI will be launching ‘Step to it for Mayday’ very soon, which will encourage 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.
As an alternative, the RNLI is also challenging the public 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 gain sponsorship or donate the money they would have spent on alcohol or coffee over the ten days.
RNLI Fundraising, Marketing and Media Director, Jayne George, says: “Our Mayday fundraising campaign is a vital event in the RNLI calendar and – given the current situation – it is more important than ever.
“For years, our fantastic fundraisers have given their time and energy in May to help out our lifesavers. But the welfare of our volunteers, staff and supporters is our priority, and the usual range of activities are now impossible. So this year, Mayday will look a bit different.
“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.’
Visit RNLI.org/Mayday to find downloadable materials for all Mayday activities, get involved with our challenges and do something amazing from the safety of your home this May.
Photo Credit: RNLI