Salcombe RNLI have appealed for volunteers to help them continue their important work in protecting people across the coast.

They are in desperate need of people to help in all areas of their work, and have roles for everyone.

Philip Ward, Chair of fundraising for the RNLI, said: “We have lots of different roles and lots of different time commitmments... people can commit a handful of hours a year and that makes a massive difference to us. We have three-hour shifts in the gift shop in Salcombe, so three hours means we can fill a shift and open the shop. We have volunteers offer to help with events, and those events vary dramatically, from pub quizzes like the one thats coming up in a couple of weeks to pop-up shops that we do at events locally, to organising gala dinners where hundreds of people are involved and we need dozens of volunteers... You can commit as much or as little time as you want. Three hours makes a big difference.”

The RNLI are planning various upcoming events that they hope will get the community involved, and educate people about their vital work. In August, they have events such as beach rugby at South Sands, and a music quiz at The Old Warehouse, where they hope to raise lots of money for this vital institution.

The RNLI are especially in need of volunteers as they enter into 2024, which marks a very important year for the service:

“Next year is our 200th anniversary (so) we’re going to have a lot of community events, as well... its not all about fundraising next year, its a lot about thanking the community for their support (and) nationally thanking the public.”

The events hope to educate people about the RNLI and draw awareness to the work they do: “the needs of the RNLI are changing and our fundraising needs are changing. The boats are much higher technology now to keep the crews safe, which is our number one priority, and to get to our casualites... and that takes a lot of money and cash to equip them. New boats are very expensive bits of kit and our boat will be replaced hopefully in 2035. The cost of that is going to be upwards of two and a half million pounds, probably.”

Philip added: “We generally raise the money we need, but locally we need to get more volunteers. It doesn’t matter what skills people have got, we’ve got so many different roles. You might be great at organising events or you might have catering skills, or you might just want to give us a hand lifting stuff around.”

The RNLI are also trying to diversify their demographic, and welcome all ages: “It doesn’t matter what age people are. We don’t have a wide enough age group yet, but we are looking at doing events, certainly next year that will encourage the younger generations to get involved. We’ve got ideas around getting the schools involved (like our) sponsored walk next march , which this year raised 16,000 pounds.”