Last night I discovered that the RNLI recruit superheroes. BBC One’s Saving Lives at Sea was an incredible first episode showing first-hand the outstanding work of RNLI Lifeboat volunteers all over the UK. The people who dedicate their spare time for the RNLI, saving lives and keeping people safe are phenomenal. They do all of that free, risking their own lives in the process. I was deeply impressed with the way the programme portrayed the Cumbrian floods disaster last ear. A disaster that was mocked by those fortunate to not have been affected. When you see a pregnant woman and her family stuck and close to drowning, it soon doesn’t become a comical ‘middle-class tragedy’ as was portrayed across social media at the time.
Watching the programme last night really brought home to me that Britain is an island nation, living in a world where you feel so connected to countries globally and living in a vast city like London, it’s easy to forget. It's also easy to forget what a fearsome and fickle beast the water can be.
The RNLI have a network of over 31,500 volunteers, 4,600 of them are volunteer lifeboat crew and having the opportunity to celebrate, showcase and thank them for the work and hours they put in is invaluable. The BBC gave the RNLI a huge platform to acknowledge that without their volunteers the RNLI could not continue their work.
It was refreshing to see something on TV that is celebrating and showcasing the brilliant work done by a charity. A charity that relies on funding from all different sources, to help equip their volunteers with the best possible equipment, to save lives and keep their volunteers safe.
It was a joy to see the BBC committing to their campaign ‘Do Something Great’; encouraging people to get stuck in and help their communities. I hope with the number of TV and radio shows the BBC will be committing to, like Saving Lives at Sea, it will be the start of some positive news about the third sector.
We mustn’t forget as third sector workers that our beneficiaries know why we exist; they are proud that we exist and often are grateful. At a time when the charity sector is covering old government services, it is no surprise that it is our turn to come under public scrutiny.
But we mustn’t let this scrutiny deter is, we must remain proud of work; we must continue to strengthen our communication and recruit ambassadors to our cause.
Bravo to RNLI for showing such a positive message and thank you to the BBC for giving the third sector an opportunity to showcase the work that we do in a positive way.
Finally, hats off to every RNLI lifeboat volunteer for being daring and fearless and reminding us of the things that humans will do to save one another.
You can watch episode 1 ofSaving Lives at Sea on the BBC iPlayer.