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RNLI's Birthday Bonanza at Royal William Yard

Posted on: 08 Mar 2024

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Sam Kennard
RNLI Bday 01

The RNLI has celebrated its 200th anniversary at a packed event at Royal William Yard. Our historic waterfront destination hosted 7,000 visitors for a day of celebrations on Sunday 3rd March to mark this milestone moment for the lifesaving charity.

It was a bumper day of free activities, including trips aboard lifeboats in the marina, daring rescue demonstrations in the water, sea shanty performances, yellow welly treasure hunts and much more besides. The team from Plymouth RNLI Lifeboat Station raised funds, generated local awareness, celebrated their volunteers, and marked their big birthday in style.

The RNLI fundraising team, RNLI shop, Water Safety Team, Coastguard Rescue Team, and Dartmoor Search and Rescue were all in attendance on the day. They were accompanied by four RNLI lifeboats, including the Severn class all-weather lifeboat, which is the largest in the fleet.

Royal William Yard’s monthly Good Food & Craft Market was also in full swing on the same day, showcasing the region’s best producers and artisans. The Yard’s popular restaurants, bars and cafes were also massively in demand, with visitors seizing the opportunity to relax, socialise and enjoy tasty treats.

"We’ve been trading at Royal William Yard since the market first began and we’ve never seen it that busy!"
Remark from Stallholder

To make it easier to get to the event, a free shuttle bus ran from the city centre to Royal William Yard – and it was busy throughout the day, carrying 600 passengers to and fro. This shuttle bus will be in action on each market day, which is always the first Sunday of the month. Find out more about the events and activities at Royal William Yard here.

Find out more

get involved:

You can find out more about the big day and see pictures of all the action on the Plymouth RNLI Lifeboat Station website. While you’re there, why not send a birthday gift to the RNLI for its 200th year, to support the Plymouth station so it can continue its tireless work along our coastline?

You can also help in the following ways:

  • Support all the events the RNLI is involved in locally this year, including Pirates Weekend (11th-12th May), Armed Forces Day (29th June), the British Fireworks Championships (14th–15th August) and Seafest (14th-15th September)
  • Get involved in the RNLI’s inaugural Raft Race at Mountbatten on Sun 21st July. Free to enter but teams are encouraged to raise sponsorship money (registration will go live soon)
  • As a charity, the RNLI relies on volunteers in all aspects of the charity’s work – this is especially applicable in Plymouth where there are vacancies in the fundraising, operational and Water Safety Teams. Find out more about the roles and recruitment here.
  • Do you have a business or work for an employer that would like to support the RNLI? From volunteering programmes to charity collections, there are lots of ways to partner with the charity. Email the fundraising contact here.