Sunderland RNLI volunteers hope for an early Christmas boost

Xmasgiftshop

* Sunderland Lifeboat Station

“The shop at Roker is the retail side of fundraising in order to maintain the excellent service the RNLI and the crews in particular give to saving lives at sea. Being a shop volunteer is a most rewarding experience.”

Volunteer lifeboat crew and lifeguards at Sunderland’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution station are hoping to help locals gear up for the festive season with the sale of Christmas cards in the lifeboat station’s souvenir shop.

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The charity’s shop, which is manned wholly by volunteers, has so far this year raised £5,100 towards the cost of operating the two inshore lifeboats at Sunderland, and for the lifeguard service which operates on the beaches of Roker and Seaburn in the summer months.

Station Shop Manager, Olwyn Wilkinson, said: ‘Each year the sale of our RNLI-themed Christmas cards and gifts provide vital funds which allow our operational volunteers to carry out their role and this alongside the shop’s range of top quality gifts, souvenirs, clothing, puzzles and post cards is a great way to assist the crew to continue saving lives at sea.’

This year the 2 inshore lifeboats based at Sunderland have already been called into action on 95 occasions.

The shop, which is located on Marine Walk, Roker, is open seven days a week between 10am and 4pm until 16 December, when it will close for a winter break until 9 February.

The volunteers who run the shop are also on the lookout for new members to assist with the running of the shop. The new recruits will join the shop’s existing team, who normally work in pairs, for a period of no more than three hours at a time.

Olwyn Wilkinson added: ‘The shop at Roker is the retail side of fundraising in order to maintain the excellent service the RNLI and the crews in particular give to saving lives at sea. Being a shop volunteer is a most rewarding experience. If anyone is able to spare the odd hour or two during the week and would be willing to come along and help in the shop, we would be delighted to see them.’

Anyone interested in joining the team should contact the shop on (0191) 567 4395 or by email at sunderland@rnli.org.uk.

The Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Guild is holding its annual Christmas coffee morning, at the RNLI Lifeguard station, Marine Walk, Roker, on Saturday 8 December between 10.30am and 12noon.

During the event volunteer lifeboat crew will be available to answer questions and to give members of the public a guided tour of the station’s two inshore lifeboats.

On Boxing Day fundraisers & operational volunteers will also be holding a collection outside of the Stadium of Light prior to the Manchester City Premier League match.

As a registered charity the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.

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