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RNLI Asks Public to ‘Give it Some Welly’ & Answer Their Mayday Call

11th April 2019
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Volunteer crewmember and comedian PJ Gallagher joined members of Dun Laoghaire RNLI, where he volunteers, to help well-known fundraiser, Mary Nolan Hickey on her way as she cycles around Ireland for Mayday, Pictured with Mary and PJ are Kieran O’Connell (Colley), Coxswain Mark McGibney and Eamon O’Leary of Dun Laoghaire RNLI Volunteer crewmember and comedian PJ Gallagher joined members of Dun Laoghaire RNLI, where he volunteers, to help well-known fundraiser, Mary Nolan Hickey on her way as she cycles around Ireland for Mayday, Pictured with Mary and PJ are Kieran O’Connell (Colley), Coxswain Mark McGibney and Eamon O’Leary of Dun Laoghaire RNLI Photo: Patrick Browne

The RNLI is calling on people to support their volunteer lifeboat crews as Mayday, the charity’s annual fundraising campaign, was launched yesterday. Volunteer crewmember and comedian PJ Gallagher joined members of Dun Laoghaire RNLI, where he volunteers, to help well-known fundraiser, Mary Nolan Hickey on her way as she cycles around Ireland for Mayday.

As Afloat.ie reported yesterday, Veteran marathon runner Mary Nolan Hickey ran around the coastline of Ireland last year to raise funds for the RNLI at the age of 65. She raised over €72,000 but felt that she had not yet completed her fundraising for the charity. On Sunday, Mary will leave Arklow to cycle around Ireland on her bike to try and bring her funds raised for the charity to €100,000.

For the month of May, the RNLI’s Mayday campaign is asking people to ‘do their bit, to fund our kit’ with the lifesaving charity hoping to raise €780,000 to fund the crucial kit volunteer crews rely on, which includes lifejackets, helmets and the RNLI’s yellow wellies. There are over 1,500 volunteer lifeboat crew members in Ireland providing a 24-hour search and rescue service and last year they launched 995 times, bringing 1,351 people to safety. Of that figure, 18 people were lives saved by the direct action of the lifeboat crews. These rescues are only possible because of the donations made to the charity by members of the public.

Speaking at the launch, RNLI volunteer crewmember and comedian PJ Gallagher said, ‘Being a volunteer lifeboat crewmember with the RNLI, I know first-hand the commitment it takes. Our crews drop everything when their pagers go off to launch the lifeboat and head out to help those in trouble. Our lifeboat crew kit gives us the confidence to face all weathers and conditions, day or night. The right kit is vital in helping to make sure we do what we are trained to do and that we bring everyone home safely.

‘I hope people will answer the RNLI’s Mayday appeal and do something to support the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew in Ireland. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. Every piece of kit on a volunteer has been funded through the generosity of people who donated to the charity.’

RNLI Fundraiser Mary Nolan Hickey is about to embark on her next adventure, which she has named Lap of the Map 2. At the launch, Mary said: ‘People think I am mad doing this but I have unfinished business for the lifeboat crews. I had no idea of the support I would get when I started but then I called into the lifeboat stations, particularly in rural coastal communities and I saw the incredible work the crew are doing and it made up my mind that if I had the energy, I would do this encore, so here I go.’

‘I’d love people to feel inspired by my story and to do something for Mayday. There are all sorts of ways to fundraise, from wearing wellies to work or doing a sponsored welly walk, to holding a bake sale or doing a sponsored cycle ride. Anyone can register for a free fundraising pack by visiting RNLI.org/Mayday.’

People who wish to get involved should visit RNLI.org/Mayday to register for a free Mayday pack. The pack provides a host of fundraising ideas. The charity is also encouraging people to show support on their social media, joining the conversation using the hashtag #MaydayEveryDay, or by donating online or buying a yellow welly pin badge.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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