When I told a friend I’d been accepted as a volunteer for the RNLI, she looked at me with awe and said “wow – you’re so brave, I could never do that!”.  Of course, her admiration was short lived when I admitted that sadly mine was a desk job and I wouldn’t be wearing those iconic yellow wellies… just yet!

However I’m really proud to be a tiny cog in this much loved and deeply respected institution and, although the work I did previously (at their state of the art HQ) and do now (mainly from my desk overlooking Poole Harbour at home), raises a relatively small amount of revenue for the RNLI, I still feel I’m contributing something and supporting those brave volunteers who risk their lives every time the RNLI siren goes off.   In my comfortable world the siren only sounds to indicate fire evacuation practices in the office but every crew member is a hero who daily risks their own life to save the lives of others.

If you are passing the huge RNLI HQ on West Quay Road near Poole Quay, climb the steps outside and you might see crews training around a bright orange lifeboat floating in the huge indoor water tank.   It’s only a short distance from the dangerous waters beyond our harbour and, although the Lifeboats are a daily sight here in Poole, we must never take their crews or this charity – who will celebrate 200 years saving lives at sea in 2024 – for granted wherever we live, work, holiday or play around the coastline and waterways of the British Isles.