They help keep you safe at the beach every weekend for eight months of the year, now our state’s volunteer surf lifesavers are asking for your help in return.
Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is this week hoping to raise vital funds for essential lifesaving equipment, training and resources as part of its annual fundraising appeal.
During SOS Week (October 12-18), community members are asked to ‘Support our Savers’ by donating online, or dropping a few coins in the collection tins of volunteers who will be out in force across the state.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, online donations are preferred this year.
SLSQ Lifesaving Services Manager Peta Lawlor said fundraising was critical to ensure the continuation of lifesaving services up and down Queensland’s coastline.
“As a charity organisation, SLSQ relies heavily on the generosity of the community to deliver our volunteer patrols, along with a range of educational and community awareness programs,” she said.
“Last year alone, across the state, our red and yellow army performed over 78,000 preventative actions to proactively safeguard swimmers, administered first aid over 14,000 times, and saved more than 750 swimmers via in-water rescues.
“By donating, Queenslanders are effectively ensuring our volunteers have the right tools and training to do their jobs, which is to save lives.”
Ms Lawlor said SOS Week 2020 marked the 17th year of the annual fundraising appeal and one of SLSQ’s largest fundraising initiatives.
“To effectively set up a beach patrol, a surf life saving club requires more than $60,000 worth of equipment, including, but not limited to, inflatable rescue boats, surf rescue boards, rescue tubes, defibrillators, first aid kits and flags,” she said.
“In addition to the costs associated with establishing a beach patrol, it costs up to $10,000 a year to maintain an active patrol, and $850 to train a lifesaver to Bronze Medallion standard.
“Every dollar counts – we appreciate whatever support you can provide, so please help us, help you.”
Ms Lawlor said SOS Week also provided an opportunity for the community to recognise the invaluable lifesaving work which volunteers perform.
“Make sure you say hi if you see our volunteers out and about next week rattling the collection tins. Our red and yellow army are always happy to have a chat and provide vital surf safety advice.”
Volunteers will be also be find raising in person in some locations during SOS Week. Look for the red and yellow tins!