RNLI shop reopens after big refurbishment

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 15 May 2017

Crew members and volunteers of the RNLI Cleethorpes have celebrated an official reopening of their popular seafront shop.

Their central promenade shop closed for a major refit over the winter period which has significantly improved facilities and now holds a greater range of stock.

All the profits made from the RNLI shops go to towards the crew saving lives at sea. The shops are managed and staffed by volunteers who are also the public face of the RNLI telling customers and tourists about the work they carry out and how to stay safe when at the coast.

Lesley Robson, visitor experience manager, said before the cutting of the ribbon and annoucing the new shop manager: "I am absolutely delighted to be a part of this. This has been a very special project to me.

"One of the most notable things about the volunteers in Cleethorpes is that they are a strong team, committed, enthusiastic and passionate. For me it has been a pleasure to work with all of the volunteers and I thank them for the support they have given me as I try and push forward with this project.

"We now have a beautiful looking shop and hopefully we are going to move forward to a very successful season.

"We often talk about the lifeboat crews and I know being a crew volunteer that we get a lot of praise for being on the frontline. I think shop volunteers as well as fundraising volunteers often get overlooked because they are also on the front line of what the RNLI does.

"It's the volunteers bringing in the money for the equipment, boats and other things we need to do the role we do and for that, I consider all of the volunteers to be on the front line as much as everyone else."

Area lifesaving manager, Daniel Cooper, added: "So far this year we have had about 16 jobs and these jobs quite simply wouldn't be able to happen without the support of the volunteers raising money to get the boats.

"We are really pleased to see the shop as it is and we thank them for working closely together."

The interior of the new RNLI shop on the Central Promenade

The new volunteer shop manager, Ian Firmstone, proudly cut the ribbon at the entrance of the shop. He explained: "It feels great to have been asked to be the volunteer shop manager. I am over the moon. It all happened very quickly.

"I initially reluctantly agreed to the role but decided to give it three months. I didn't know if it was something I'd struggle with but I have received huge support from everyone. Lesley has been 100 per cent supportive of me in this role, as has the whole team.

"I think we will receive more revenue throughout the season. Some people might say we are on the wrong side of the road but we have new signage that is visible.

"Cleethorpes have a nice visitor population and it's not just locals who are interested in what the RNLI do, tourists are always very interested.

"The shop is nice and bright and it appears more inviting which is really important."

The shop now features new signage and will be open seven days a week from 10.30am until 4.30pm.

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