Without all our volunteers the RNLI simply would not be able to operate the way it does today. Volunteers are one of the RNLI's most valuable assets and they give us not only time and support but access to a huge range of skills and talents that would be beyond our reach in any other way. The RNLI has over 42,000 volunteers, performing over 200 different roles within the organisation – no matter what your interest is or experience you have, we have something for you.
'If you want to be involved with the RNLI then you should try your very best to make it happen. Being part of the organisation in any way is a unique opportunity.'
'How many other people, when asked what they did at work that day, can say: "I saved a life"? It's the ultimate in job satisfaction.'
Imagine for a moment that you're part of Poole lifeboat crew. It's 2.30am on a freezing January morning and the pager's just woken you from a deep sleep in a snug warm bed. You then head out to sea in complete darkness in winds gusting to hurricane force. High waves rise and fall around you, ready to swamp you at any moment. The lifeboat is tossed around like a toy but you can't turn back as a fishing trawler is in difficulties 23 miles out to sea.
'You come off the lifeboat physically wrecked and bruised but you still come back for more, and after a successful rescue you're on cloud nine for days. It really is a hell of a feeling.'
Please click here for information on joining the lifeboat crew.
Also, watch a short documentary Time with the Crew that examines the thoughts and motivations behind six volunteer crew members.
More than 1,000 fundraising groups with 35,000 volunteer fundraisers underpin everything that the RNLI does through their local events and activities. Hundreds of volunteers also abseil, dive and run marathons for the RNLI. Fundraisers are vital to help the RNLI raise the millions of pounds needed to keep our lifeboats and lifeguards operating.
Poole has an active group – Poole and District Fundraising Group – that is always looking for new members to join their team of volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, with a one-off event, maybe just for one or two hours, or with local fundraising collections or maybe something more challenging, please contact us for further information.
Poole Lifeboat Station is open to visitors by appointment only and volunteers are needed to talk to and show around the young people and adults who visit. Our volunteers guide them around the station and help make sense of what they see. If you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Brenda John, Lifeboat Visits Officer.
From yacht clubs to golf clubs, many groups and societies are keen to know more about the work of the RNLI. If you feel you have the ability to communicate the RNLI's core messages and tell them about the ordinary people doing extraordinary things at Poole Lifeboat Station, then contact Brenda John, Lifeboat Visits Officer.
The Poole Quay Old Boathouse needs you! Housing one of Poole's historic lifeboats, Thomas Kirk Wright, we are always looking for volunteers to assist with showing around the large numbers of adults and children that visit.
Volunteers do not need to be experts on museums – we are looking for people who have some experience of working with children and adults and/or the ability to engage with them on their level.
The Old Boathouse also has a shop on site selling RNLI memorabilia, cards, gifts and nautical-themed items.
Hours of volunteering are flexible and can be designed to suit your individual needs. You will have the opportunity to meet new people, utilise your existing skills, and gain new skills and experience.
If you are interested and want to find out more, please contact Dave Bowman, Museum Coordinator.
Poole Lifeboat Station has an active Sea Safety Team headed up by Sea Safety Officer Chris Holloway. Part of their brief is to carry out checks and talks on sea safety to individuals and clubs, providing advice on man overboard techniques, lifejackets, flares and many other safety topics.
The RNLI is committed to educating young people about how to stay safe, with a proactive approach to sea safety.
As an RNLI education volunteer you can make a difference in reducing the number of young lives lost at sea. There are many ways that education volunteers can make a difference. It doesn't matter where you live, how much time you have to spare or what experience you have of working with children, we still need you!
To find out more, please check out the Education Volunteering section of the main RNLI website.