The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea, but to save lives at sea, the operational volunteers work alongside another large collection of important volunteers, the fundraising teams.

Fundraising teams are often linked directly to lifeboat stations, but some operate separately, not attached to a station, but still working hard to contribute to the lifesaving effort, with some teams operating far in land, away from the coast. Harwich RNLI are fortunate to have an RNLI fundraising team linked directly with the station.


The Harwich RNLI fundraising team was formed in 2016 after a small group of ladies, some with links with the station, helped bring together the first ‘Sea Festival Cream Teas’ as part of the Harwich Sea Festival and Lifeboat Day. In what is now a set tradition, Cream Teas are now served in the RNLI boathouse every year on Sea Festival and Lifeboat Day by the fundraising team.

Over time, the team has grown in numbers and strength, with friends of existing team members, and other individuals, all coming along to volunteer, giving their time to be part of the team. A variety of ages, personalities and real characters make up the team, and they meet once a month to gather future event ideas and drive the planning for upcoming events. Anybody who would like to join the team is encouraged to speak directly with the team at local fundraising events to express their interest, or contact can be made via the boathouse, with details on the Contact page.


Many groups and individuals raise a significant amount of vital funds for the RNLI every year, and it is the fundraising that makes the lifesaving possible. Some of the fundraising is done by official RNLI fundraising teams, and Harwich RNLI’s fundraising team is one of those official teams. So, what is the difference? Well, the end result is no different at all, it is dedicated people giving time and great support, raising funds in aid of the RNLI. Within the official fundraising teams, the volunteers go through an RNLI registration process, with official identification cards issued showing that the individuals have been accepted in to the RNLI and are authorised to carry out tasks and responsibilities for the RNLI.

The team at Harwich organises regular events and to date these have included events such as Spring Fayres, Cinema Events, Fish Suppers, and the very popular monthly Coffee and Cake events. Being directly part of the RNLI, the team also has immediate access to official RNLI fundraising campaigns, such as the annual May Day and Fish Supper campaigns. With the annual Respect The Water campaign, there is also the important job of communicating the safety messages as part of the fundraising efforts.

A further responsibility under fundraising is the management of the many collecting boxes. Working alongside the station’s box collecting secretary, collection boxes have to be collected and replaced throughout the local community, and the donated money has to be counted and receipts issued.


Why do we have a fundraising team, and why do they do it? Well, the most obvious answer is to raise money that is needed to operate and maintain the lifeboats and the lifeboat station, and fully equip the volunteer crew to keep them as safe as possible and make them as effective as possible in saving lives at sea.

But the ‘why?’ goes further than that. The fundraising team helps to raise awareness of the charity within the local community. This is achieved through the events that they organise, with some events bringing people in to the boathouse, and creating the important link between the RNLI and the community. As a group of likeminded individuals, working together with the same aim, the fundraising team are now effectively a group of friends and enjoy what they do and have fun along the way.