RNLI Chief Executive, Andrew Freemantle CBE on the proposed RNLI memorial site. © RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is planning its first official national memorial paying tribute to the many RNLI lifesavers and fundraisers who have served the charity over the last 180 years – especially 438 crew members who have died saving lives at sea.
The national tribute, a memorial sculpture within a garden, will be located at the RNLI’s Poole headquarters opposite the Lifeboat College, home of the RNLI, where hundreds of future generations of lifesavers and fundraisers will train and be further inspired by the memorial.
"Currently the RNLI has no single public memorial at which to honour its volunteers, past present and future," explained The RNLI’s Chief Executive, Andrew Freemantle CBE.
"Ultimately the memorial will remind the nation there are still people who volunteer to carry out selfless acts of heroism to help others, and that we need to honour and remember them, to inspire future generations."
Mr Freemantle will spearhead the first memorial fundraising event by cycling 1,770km (1100 miles) from Poole to the Italian capital of Rome during his annual leave in September 2007.
The memorial and garden will be open to the public and is intended to be accessible at all times. The area will provide a peaceful contemplative space for reflection. RNLI volunteers, staff and members of the public will be able to sit quietly and be inspired by the extraordinary self-sacrifice of many of the people involved with the charity since its foundation in 1824.
Visit www.rnli.org.uk/memorial for more information or to sponsor Andrew. Alternatively anyone wishing to support the memorial directly can make a donation to the RNLI Poole Headquarters marked 'Memorial Garden.’