From Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 June 2023 the RNLI will be at the Royal Cornwall Show. The charity will be at two different stands (292 and 496) in the show grounds, providing showgoers with the chance to learn more about volunteering prospects within the charity and the opportunity to try paddleboarding
Recruitment of new RNLI volunteers across all areas including fundraising, retail, visits teams, operations and water safety will be available to learn about at stand 292, with a particular focus on engagement volunteer opportunities. At stand 496, visitors will be educated on water safety with the chance to try paddleboarding using a simulator and go away equipped with all the information needed to take part in the sport safely.
Dave Nicoll, RNLI fundraising and partnership lead in the south west says;
‘Our staff and volunteers will be at the show to talk to the public about our amazing volunteering roles available within the charity. With the RNLI’s 200year anniversary approaching next year, this is an exciting time to get involved with all of our activities ahead of the anniversary year in 2024. Become a volunteer for the RNLI and you’ll be part of a lifesaving tradition that has been going strong since 1824.’
Over the last 10 years the popularity of stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has increased hugely. In 2021, RNLI lifeguards responded to 504 incidents involving paddleboards, an increase of 132% from 2020, similarly, RNLI lifeboat crews responded to 144 incidents in 2021, an increase of 64% on 2020.
RNLI Volunteer Water Safety Officer, Simon Hannaford said;
‘It is great to see more people enjoying the coastline and getting involved in these wonderful water-based activities, however we are seeing an increase in the number of incidents our lifeguards and lifeboat crew are being called to. It is essential that people wanting to take part are aware of the risks and are well prepared before going to sea.’
Visitors to the RNLI stand will have an opportunity to give stand-up paddleboarding a go on a specially designed SUP ergometer, like a rowing machine for paddleboarding. The machine can be set to replicate the feeling of paddling in the water in different wind and tidal conditions to help illustrate how challenging it can be in different environments.