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RNLI and funding

(12 Posts)
Brilliantidiot Fri 01-Mar-19 11:32:48

I have been watching the BBC 2 programme 'Saving Lives at Sea' and it's left me wondering why the RNLI are reliant on donations and fund raising when we are an island so surely should be included as part and parcel of emergency services?

Funding. The RNLI is principally funded by legacies (65%) and voluntary donations (28%), with the remainder from merchandising and investment. In 2014, the RNLI's income was £182 million, while its expenditure was £149.6 million.

They don't seem to be doing too bad, expenditure and income wise, but that's probably because it's staffed mainly by volunteers. They obviously work closely with The Coastguard service, and I wonder why they're not a part of that as a matter of course. It's a massive organisation that is vital.
The same goes for air ambulances - medical crew are part of the NHS but pilots and equipment are funded entirely from donations and fund raising.
Living near the coast and also a rural area I'm a big supporter of both of these, but I do think they're as essential as police, fire and ambulance services and therefore should be funded in the same way.
I know there's cuts left right and centre to everything, and a lack of money for what we do have and no, obviously the money wouldn't just magically appear. I'm just touched by these people who risk their lives on a voluntary basis all the time to save others with absolutely no government support.

Jamiefraserskilt Fri 01-Mar-19 11:37:59

Air ambulance are the same. I think they all should get funding.

Toddlerteaplease Fri 01-Mar-19 11:56:37

My parents are very involved in their local branch of the RNLI. And fundraise for them. The reason they do t want funding from the government is because they want/ need state of the art equipment and staying a charity ensures they can do this and not be affected by budget cuts/funding etc. It seems odd but makes sense.

GreenThing Fri 01-Mar-19 12:35:11

As PP says, I thought they wanted to remain independent of Government policy whims etc.

They do pretty well, I think they have the right idea really.

Meatbadger Fri 01-Mar-19 12:44:49

This is why I support them whenever I can. We take them for granted as an emergency service and I am in awe of the brave volunteers who regularly put themselves in danger to save lives.

buttermilkwaffles Fri 01-Mar-19 12:48:35

By the way if you shop online at amazon you can use the the link on the RNLI page to visit amazon each time you buy something and a % of what you spend will go to the RNLI at no extra cost to you.
rnli.org/support-us/give-as-you-shop/shop-at-amazon

Janleverton Fri 01-Mar-19 12:53:58

I have a monthly charity dd to RNLI. Like a mini insurance policy given how much time we spend by the sea.

As previous posters have said, being a charity without government funding gives freedom and protects from budget cuts, outsourcing, privatisation (like coastguard rescue helicopter service).

Is different to air ambulance, which i agree should be heftily government funded, in that the folk doing the rescues are volunteers, unpaid (with the exception of permanent station staff).

LakieLady Fri 01-Mar-19 13:01:20

I was told by a lifeboatman that they didn't want to be centrally funded as it would mean that they would no longer be volunteers but employees. In turn, that would mean that they would have to follow H&S legislation and wouldn't be able to carry out risky rescues.

They are amazingly brave people. For reasons I can no longer recall, I had to read the official report of the Penlee Lifeboat Disaster, and I was moved to tears, despite it being written in the driest of language. It still makes me feel a bit choked now, especially when I think of how the Christmas lights in Mousehole are turned off for an hour every year, to commemorate the lives lost.

I always give money to the RNLI, living near the coast I'm very aware of how much they are needed, and will be making a bequest when I get round to making my will.

Brilliantidiot Fri 01-Mar-19 13:14:54

That makes sense about the funding and not being dictated to about how to spend it and being at risk of cuts to funding. Find that fact a bit sad though.
But I suppose as things are, the organisation, volunteers and people they rescue are probably better off this way.
Living on the coast and working literally overlooking a beach, I see and hear the coastguard and RNLI in action a lot more than many I guess. An acquaintances husband is also a volunteer, I go to their fund raising and donate regularly when I can, same to air ambulance.

Toddlerteaplease Fri 01-Mar-19 20:09:24

Ive also read the Penlee report. Such bravery is humbling.

topcat2014 Fri 01-Mar-19 20:15:48

Being funded this way means no need to complete 'diversity reports' or other such tripe. Less admin.

We pay a monthly dd - only small but it all helps.

Makinglists Fri 01-Mar-19 20:21:02

I'm always amazed by their professionalism and dedication to the work. Also humbled by those who have lost or risked their lives to save others. The RNLI HQ is my home town so I feel somewhat attached to them even though I am a complete landlubber. If you are ever in Poole the RNLI College has a wonderful restaurant, shop and bar which the public can use (even had my mum's funeral tea there - dear mum could be sick just looking at a boat). The profits all go to the RNLI. As a parent I always feel happier visiting a beach with RNLI lifeguards.

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