Making a difference

After losing a loved one, Roger didn’t know what to do with himself. Looking to give something back to society, he turned towards the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution).

“For most of my life, I worked in the army training cadets. They were often troubled kids and could certainly be a challenge, but the work was so rewarding. Seeing troublemakers become good citizens was more than worth the hard work.

“Just last year, my life was turned upside down. When I lost my wife to cancer, my world fell apart. Grieving, I looked for something to do to fill my life. I wanted to do something which would protect other people from the kind of trauma that I was going through; specifically, protecting children from losing a loved one.

“It was then that I approached the RNLI as a volunteer, knowing of the lives they save and incredible work they do. However, I was told I was too old to work as part of a lifeboat crew, and in any case lived too far away from the station to be on call.

“I was a little disappointed, but when they said I could work in the shop I saw there was an opportunity here for me to get more involved in the educational side of the RNLI. Aiming to educate children specifically about the dangers of the seaside and boating, I started to visit schools and run classes for young kids.

“I’ll take classes of about 30 kids, teaching them all about the history of lifeboats and the risks which lifeboat crews put themselves under to rescue drowning swimmers and the like.

“I don’t aim to scare the children – rather show them how to be safe at the seaside. Being so young, it can be hard to keep their attention sometimes! But it is so rewarding to see kids playing and having fun and knowing that they are educated in how to stay safe.

“I really feel that I am making a big difference, and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that these kids or their parents won’t have the sea to blame for the kind of loss that I went through.”


Written by : Roger Marsden

About the author

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Volunteer and Education Presenter at RNLI The Lizard Lifeboat. Watch Keeper at NCI Bass Point ( Coastwatch ). C/Sgt Instructor at Royal Marines Cadets. Likes dancing at Ceroc modern Jive.
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