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North West RNLI rescuers issue their own Mayday after figures reveal a busy 2018

An RNLI collection will take place in Manchester City Centre. Credit RNLI

The latest figures show RNLI volunteers in the North West of England launched 364 times and aided 237 people in 2018.  The volunteer crew at the 11 stations in Cumbria, Merseyside and Lancashire saved 18 lives during the 12-month period.

Now the RNLI is calling on the people of the North West to give it some welly and support RNLI lifeboat crews, as the charity’s national annual fundraising campaign Mayday is launched.

Launching on Wednesday 1 May and running for the whole of the month, the RNLI’s Mayday campaign is calling on people to ‘do their bit, fund our kit’ with the lifesaving charity hoping to raise £700,000 to fund the crucial kit volunteer crews rely on, like lifejackets, helmets and the RNLI’s iconic yellow wellies.

The busiest station in the north west during 2018 was Blackpool with 109 launches. It was the volunteer crew at Fleetwood who aided most people during the year, with a total of 72 people aided. At Morecambe, the most lives were saved – with a total of five people still alive today thanks to the RNLI crew.

Andy Dodd, RNLI Coxswain at Hoylake Lifeboat Station says: ‘RNLI volunteer crew drop everything to save those in trouble at sea when the pagers go off. Our lifeboat crew kit gives us confidence in all weathers and sea conditions and is vital to help make sure we return home safely to our families from every launch.

‘The RNLI’s Mayday fundraiser is our own call for help and we’re asking people to do their bit to fund our kit throughout May.  ‘There are all sorts of ways to raise money for Mayday. From wearing wellies to work or doing a sponsored welly walk, to holding a bake sale or doing a sponsored cycle ride. Anyone can register for a free fundraising pack by visiting RNLI.org/Mayday.’

Hoylake Lifeboat Station will be hosting a charity car wash on 12th May and the public are invited to turn up and show their support and leave with a clean vehicle. Events are happening across the region from challenges to collections, such as in Manchester city centre, where collectors will be present on 11th May in the city centre & 17th May at Manchester Piccadilly.

On Bank holiday Monday 6th May, Blackpool Lifeboat crew are running an RNLI stand with games at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Buxton RNLI branch are running a Mayday duck race at the Pavilion gardens spring festival.

The Barrow RNLI branch will hold a race afternoon at South End Caravan Park, Walney Island on 4 May and there will be a Welly Walk on Grange-Over-Sands promenade on 12 May 2019.

Lytham at Anne’s Lifeboat crew & fundraisers will be organising their annual Leg It for Lytham Lifeboats fun run which is in aid of Mayday and will take place on Sunday 2 June. Anyone wishing to support Mayday by signing up to this race, can do so by visiting https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leg-it-for-lytham-lifeboats-2019-registration-55023022341

Fitness fanatics can also support our volunteer crew by signing up for the RNLI Three Shires Cycle Sportive on Sunday 2 June. The non-competitive cycling event starts and finishes at Sandbach Rugby Club on the outskirts of Sandbach town centre and has routes for all abilities, find out more here:  www.rnli.org/3shires

There are so many ways people can do their bit to support Mayday, from schools to gyms and corporates. Teachers and community groups are invited to ‘go yellow’ for Mayday – by either wearing something yellow or lighting up an iconic building.

Gyms across the region are already keen to sign up to the Lift a Lifeboat challenge, where teams chose their favourite lifeboat and lift its equivalent weight during sponsored training sessions. More information and social media toolkit can be found here: https://rnli.org/mayday/materials

Corporates and community groups are invited to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and sign up to the RNLI Mayday Challenge – taking £10 and working as teams to turn it into a greater sum of cash in support of Mayday. For more details or to take part please contact [email protected] or tel: 07557 191852

With 4,900 volunteer lifeboat crew members providing a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts, money raised through Mayday will help kit out RNLI crews so they’re ready to face the harshest conditions at sea. It currently costs £2,161 to provide one all-weather lifeboat crew member with all the kit they need when responding to the call for help.

Anyone who wants to get involved should visit RNLI.org/Mayday to register for a free Mayday pack. The pack provides a host of fundraising ideas, such as encouraging friends and colleagues to plan a wear-yellow fundraiser, getting sponsored to run, walk or cycle, cooking up some yellow-themed bakes to sell or even getting together to lift the weight of a 32 tonne Tamar class lifeboat!

The charity is also encouraging people to show support on their social media, joining the conversation using the hashtag #MaydayEveryDay, or by donating online or buying a yellow welly pin badge.

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