Portfolio project

RNLI Sam Clow Door Drop.

Fundraising door drops have to work incredibly hard to pay their way. Research suggested that potential supporters admire RNLI crew members even if they can’t imagine ever needing to be rescued at sea themselves. So for this pack, I focused on the commitment and dedication of RNLI young volunteers.

I was lucky enough to be able to interview several of these selfless volunteers and their RNLI mentors. Some of their quotes became key headlines in the pack.



10m waves
50mph winds
-17oC chill factor
18 years old



Please give £20 to help train young volunteers like Sam save lives at sea


I’m Paul Nicholson, Senior Helmsman at one of Britain’s busiest lifeboat stations. Along with 235 other stations round the UK and RoI, we’re part of the RNLI – the charity that saves lives at sea.

Like most charities, we rely on donations from generous supporters. But we also depend on unpaid volunteers like Sam Clow who give their time, standing ready to save lives at a moment’s notice.

Sam joined our station in Sunderland soon after his 17thbirthday. In the 18 months since then he’s been involved in dozens of rescues, helping save lives in conditions that would challenge the most experienced sailor. There’s just one thing that’s allowed him to do this – training.

From navigation to fire fighting and first aid at sea, RNLI training builds skills so we can work together instinctively at night in waves as high as a double-decker bus. We invest a huge amount of time to get to this point, but it also costs a great deal of money. This can only come from people like you.

For crew members, the RNLI isn’t a hobby. Your life revolves round saving lives at sea.

Being an RNLI volunteer requires enormous commitment, particularly for people at the start of their working lives. In Sam’s case it’s meant balancing intensive RNLI training with a full time electrical engineering apprenticeship. And somehow he still finds time to visit schools and fundraise for us too.

It’s hard, so you may be surprised to know many stations have waiting lists of young people determined to join our crews when older volunteers retire. Will you help pay to train them when vacancies arise?

Help us start training a new generation of RNLI volunteers with a gift of £20.

Volunteers like Sam are totally committed to this job and take it just as seriously as members of other emergency services like firefighters and ambulance crew. The only difference is that they’re not paid and can only train to do their vital work with your help.

Right now, the RNLI has dozens of volunteers under 21. Demand for our services is growing constantly, so we desperately need to train them. But as the RNLI is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, we need your help to do it.


If you can, please give £20 today to help train more life saving RNLI crew members like Sam. Thank you.


Yours faithfully,

Paul Nicholson
Senior Helmsman, Sunderland Lifeboat Station

PS Few people can give as much as Sam does, but we can all help keep volunteers like him safe at sea.

Donation form

Yes, I’ll give £20 to help train more RNLI volunteers like Sam


Leaflet front

“When things look daunting your crewman head clicks in. You do what your training tells you”

Sam, Trainee Volunteer Crew Member.

Age 18


Leaflet rear

It’s not bravery that saves lives at sea. It’s training

In a rescue at sea, mistakes can cost lives. RNLI training helps crew members make split-second decisions in the worst conditions, protecting themselves and saving lives. RNLI volunteers would never tell you they’re being brave. Instead, they work together, relying on each other and skills built up through exhaustive training.  By giving £20 to help train volunteers like Sam, you too can be a vital part of this amazing team of people who go above and beyond the call of duty to save lives at sea.

Typical training costs for a new RNLI volunteer

First aid                                                            £100

Our volunteers need to be able to assess casualties and do whatever’s needed to stabilise them in dim light and wildly pitching conditions.

Personal survival                                              £570

Crew members need to understand the biology and mechanics of sea survival, and have practical experience of putting that theory into practice in extreme conditions.

Firefighting                                                      £570

Fire is every mariner’s worst nightmare. Our training familiarises crew members with fires, smoke and explosions so they can work safely in emergency conditions.

Seamanship                                                      £1,700

Skills like understanding wave formation and knowing how to handle heavy ropes in violent seas can help save both casualty and crew member lives.

Navigation and communications                      £3,180

In storm conditions, visibility can drop to zero. With lives in the balance, it’s essential crew members can use every technical aid to locate casualties as fast as possible.

Please help us provide more lifesaving training like this by supporting the RNLI today.

Jonathan Bradley

Luxus Worldwide




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