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About us

The Communications and Public Service Lifeboat Fund (The Lifeboat Fund, for short) is commited to helping the Royal National Lifeboat Institution save lives at sea. The Fund is a public service charity, and proud to be the longest-serving supporter and one of the biggest single contributors to the RNLI.  The Fund is registered with the official regulators as a charity which fundraises throughout the UK. You can view our constitution here.

Who we are

We are The Lifeboat Fund. We are a charity that exists for one purpose: to help the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). Over many years we have done this by raising money to pay for new lifeboats, refurbishing lifeboat stations and boats, and buying crew kit, equipment & training for RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards.

Why we do it

Volunteer lifeboat crews, stand ready to go on ‘shouts’ 24/7, often at night and in all weathers, to help people in distress. We want to help, and since The Lifeboat Fund began, its lifeboats in the RNLI fleet have saved over 4700 lives.

Who supports us?

  • The Lifeboat Fund is an official charity of the Civil Service. It also receives valuable support from employees of the Royal Mail and British Telecom.
  • It benefits from giving by current and retired staff members and from legacies.
  • Civil servants throughout the UK organise fundraising collections, run marathons and cake sales etc, and promote The Lifeboat Fund and its beneficiary, the RNLI.
  • Supporters also use payroll and pension giving to help this life-saving cause.

The name of our charity

A group of civil servants raised money from their colleagues to buy the first lifeboat back in 1866 and formed the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund. This later became the Civil Service, Post Office and British Telecommunications Lifeboat Fund (CISPOTEL).

The title of the charity changed in 1969 when the Post Office left the Civil Service, and again in 1983 when British Telecom did likewise.

In 2002 when the Post Office changed its name to Consignia, the Fund changed its title to the Communications and Public Service Lifeboat Fund, or The Lifeboat Fund for short. Consignia was renamed Royal Mail but we are proud to retain our name of The Lifeboat Fund.