RNLI gardens to save lives at sea - how people on Yorkshire coast can take part

From life-saving lilies to fundraising freesias, the RNLI is calling on green-fingered supporters along the Yorkshire coast to host an RNLI Garden event this summer to help save lives at sea.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 11:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 11:22 am

The charity is seeking home-grown heroes to hold fundraisers in their gardens between June and September.

As the warmer weather lures people outside to make the most of their gardens and back yards, the heat will also be rising for RNLI lifesavers.

Every year, the summer brings a tide of rescues as the RNLI hits its busiest season and with the pandemic keeping more people on home shores, it’s likely that unprecedented numbers will visit the coast.

Richard Dowson, RNLI Mechanic at Whitby lifeboat station in his garden. 
Picture: Ceri Oakes.
Richard Dowson, RNLI Mechanic at Whitby lifeboat station in his garden. Picture: Ceri Oakes.

There are several ways to raise funds with an RNLI Gardens event.

Peter Emmett, RNLI Head of Engagement, said: "If you have a garden in full bloom why not host an RNLI Open Garden?

"By opening your green spaces to locals, friends and family in exchange for a small donation, you could help our charity to raise vital life-saving funds.

"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.’

An RNLI-themed garden display. Picture: RNLI.

For people who would like to take part but don’t want to open their garden to the public, there’s also the opportunity to host an RNLI Garden Party where you could invite 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 activities.

Richard Dowson, RNLI Mechanic at Whitby lifeboat station, said: ‘During the past year, we've all spent a lot more time at home.

"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 summer 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.’

How the garden party could help 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

Visit RNLI.org/Gardens to sign up to RNLI Gardens.