Grateful for the experience of youth


The RNLI relies on hardworking and dedicated volunteers who give their time to help save lives at sea.


They have all kinds of different backgrounds and levels of experience, and their ages vary a lot as well. To apply to become part of our seagoing or shore crew, you have to be at least 17, but there are other jobs behind the scenes ably carried out by younger people, such as providing locals with water safety advice, or raising funds to support our work. 


This article focuses on three amazing young people – Conor Warren, Jay Keen and Levi Lisle-Young, who are 15, 17 and 9 years old respectively, and who all help us to raise funds. 


Conor is getting very involved in local events.


Conor moved into North Devon with his family in 2017, and is a budding entrepreneur as well as having a great community spirit. He became interested in the work of the RNLI, and is now a member of the team that runs local fund-raising events. Conor has been involved with our Treasure Hunt, designed graphics for social media posts, and is assisting with live streams and videos for a ceremony being planned to name our new boat, the Deborah Brown III. His message to other teenagers interested in the RNLI? ‘Don’t sit around thinking about it for too long – go for it! You will meet all kinds of people, and raising money for such a great cause gives a real buzz!’


Jay is hoping to become a crew member!


Jay’s family is local to Ilfracombe, and his interest in the RNLI began when he was attending the Out of the Blue cadet scheme. This is a partnership based at Ilfracombe Fire Station and involving local rescue services, The youngsters spend time with Devon and Somerset Fire Rescue, Devon and Cornwall Police, South West Ambulance Service and the RNLI. Jay so much enjoyed his experience with the lifeboat crew that later he volunteered to help fund-raise for them, and he aims to apply for crew training as well. Like Conor, Jay helps out at our fund-raising events. He tells friends who are interested that they shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch and find out how they can support the local station. ‘Take the plunge!’


Levi took on an oarsome challenge!!


A big round of applause also for Levi, who took up the Mayday Mile challenge earlier this year to raise money for Ilfracombe RNLI. He kayaked from the shore in Combe Martin to the marker pole and back nine times, to complete a sponsored mile. Levi has an undaunted spirit - even after his kayak capsized out at sea, he managed to climb to the safety of another one to get back to shore, and he raised a brilliant £608!


If you are under 17 and interested in helping with our fundraising, get in touch. Maybe you know someone who already volunteers for the RNLI? – if so, why not talk to them? Or else email  and ask for someone to contact you for a chat.

And remember, the health and safety of our volunteers, whatever their age, is always a priority for us.

The RNLI shop has a great range of gifts!