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.
Lifeboat crews are mostly volunteers, who come from all walks of life, and give up their time and comfort to carry out rescues and save lives at sea on the lifeboats.
With over 4,800 lifeboat crew members in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, of which over 340 are women, lifeboat crews are dedicated and make a major commitment – which could ultimately include risking their life. They respond at a moment's notice, no matter where they are or what they are doing when the pager goes off.
Crews are regularly called away from their families, their beds and their work, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Often they’ll leave a place of comfort to brave the cold and wet in situations that test their skill, strength and courage. Their lifesaving work is essential, often difficult and sometimes dangerous.
To read more about the role of lifeboat crew go the RNLI main website.
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.
Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station has two active groups associated with it; Sunderland and Whitburn Lifeboat Guilds that are always looking for new members to join their teams 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.
Sea safety volunteer
Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station has an active Sea Safety Team headed up by Sea Safety Officer Alan Dixon. 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.
If you would like to help the RNLI carry out these checks and share safety advice and guidance then please contact Alan Dixon, Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer (LSSO).
Sunderland 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 Jayne Ingham our 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 Sunderland Lifeboat Station, then contact James Jamieson, Lifeboat Operations Manager.
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 register, fill in an online registration form on the RNLI's Shorething website, including previous experience and referees.