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How to help save lives at sea by making the most of your garden

July 2021
Reading time 5

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is calling on green-fingered locals to host an RNLI Garden event to support their life-saving work

As we make the most of being outdoors in the late summer sunshine, the heat will also be on for RNLI volunteers across our region.

Last summer, RNLI lifeguards recorded more than 15 million visitors to the beaches that they were patrolling. But with so many seaside staycations on the cards for 2021, this figure could double. That’s why the RNLI needs our help now more than ever. So, the charity is seeking homegrown heroes in the North East and Yorkshire to hold fundraisers in their gardens.

There are several ways to raise funds with this all new RNLI Gardens event.

‘By opening your green spaces to locals, friends and family in exchange for a small donation, you could help our charity to raise vital lifesaving funds,’ explains Peter Emmett, RNLI Head of Engagement. ‘Whether you have the brightest blooms or the plumpest pumpkin, it could be your time to show off! Alongside hosting an RNLI Gardens event, you could also consider putting on refreshments or home baked goods or selling cut flowers and crops from your vegetable patch.’

For people who would like to take part but don’t want to open their garden to the public, why not invite your friends and family round for a celebration and ask for donations in return? Additional funds could be raised through quizzes, cake sales and other fun fundraising activities.

'During the past year, we've all spent a lot more time at home,’ says Richard Dowson, RNLI Mechanic at Whitby lifeboat station. 'Doing so has made us appreciate how lucky we are to have a garden or open space. I use my garden to grow fruit and veg. It’s also my escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We’re expecting a very busy period as more people take staycations, so my garden may not get the attention it deserves. That’s why your RNLI Garden event is so important. It will help raise vital funds to support lifeboat volunteers like me so that, together, we can save lives at sea.’

Funds from hosting a garden party or open garden could provide a valuable lifeline to the RNLI:


  • £30 could pay for a lifeguard’s First Aid training
  • £33 for a volunteer crew member’s sea-going wellies
  • £100 could help fund water safety sessions for children


To sign up to RNLI Gardens visit

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