A VITAL fundraising group in Frodsham is in real danger of dying out if young people don’t step up and volunteer.
For decades members of the Frodsham and District Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat (RNLI) Committee have dedicated their time to raising money to help save lives.
But just months before their 40th anniversary, the club is on the verge of closing because their members are getting too old.
With their youngest member aged 69 and most volunteers now in their 80s, the club is struggling to collect cash and organise events as members fall ill or are too old to commit.
Now club secretary John Lloyd, 69, has told The Chronicle that he is worried that the club is in danger of closing if young people do not lend a hand.
“You cannot have 80-year-old ladies climbing up lampposts and standing up all day shaking a bucket.
“We are only a small committee, but at the last AGM we only had four people, because members had fallen ill and the chairwoman had a hip replacement.
“People are not getting involved with the club any more because they have other commitments, they simply cannot dedicate their time to the meetings. But we have to try to find young volunteers otherwise sadly we are going to have to pack it in.”
The grandfather-of-two, who lives in Frodsham with his wife Judith, has devoted his life to charitable fundraising and has worked tirelessly to keep the club alive.
“The RNLI started when ladies didn’t go to work and they stayed at home. That way of life has changed now - when we need people to stand in a supermarket with a collecting box they can’t because they are at work,” added John.
“We used to have a 10-year-old boy who loved helping out at the RNLI, it was brilliant, but he was young and lost interest.
“People do not realise how lucky we are, we are surrounded in Frodsham by this amazing service. People just say we don’t have a lifeboat here but the local service saves hundreds of lives every year and helps in floods, on beaches and in the sea.”
The lack of volunteers has meant that popular fundraising events, such as their annual hot pot evening, have been cancelled resulting in donations falling from a peak of £7,500 to £4,419 in just one year.
John is extremely passionate about the work of the RNLI, who have saved 139,000 lives since they were founded in 1824. He is currently trying to find ways of attracting new members to the fundraising group, including making their meetings public.
“After so many years of hard work and dedication by so many people it would be such a shame to see the club closed, especially in such a landmark year.”