Birmingham Royal Ballet support the RNLI’s Mayday Campaign

Ballet dancers and rugby players join forces to back lifeboat charity.

Prima ballerinas and Premiership rugby players have been captured swapping their ballet pointes and rugby boots for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s yellow wellies to show support for Mayday, the lifesaving charity’s annual national fundraising campaign.

Birmingham Royal Ballet performers and Wasps players were trying out their signature moves but without the crucial footwear that aides them so well in their jobs, instead swapped for bright yellow wellies.

The RNLI’s iconic yellow wellies have been worn by generations of volunteer lifeboat crews to ensure they keep grip on deck in slippery conditions – sure footing is a must on stormy seas. The RNLI-issue sea boots also have reinforced toecaps, protecting crews’ feet from nasty injuries.

Mayday distress calls can come in any time, day or night, 365 days a year, with 4,700 volunteer crew members across the UK and Ireland on standby to drop everything in an instant to save lives at sea. The RNLI’s Mayday campaign, running over this Bank Holiday weekend, is its own call for help – to raise the money needed to keep the charity and its 237 lifeboat stations operating. Last year, RNLI lifeboat crews launched 8,228 times, rescuing 7,973 people and saving 348 lives.

James Haskell, England rugby star and Wasps captain, urges the public to support the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s Mayday campaign:”As rugby players our training is pretty gruelling – we’re always pushing ourselves to the max in all kinds of weather conditions but at least we know when we’re expected to perform! That’s why I have so much respect and admiration for the volunteer RNLI crew members as they drop everything in an instant to respond to a distress call to go out on a rescue, no matter what. The shoot has been fun although there is a serious message, so I’m asking everyone to help this amazing charity continue its essential lifesaving work by supporting them this Mayday.”

Birmingham Royal Ballet dancer Jade Heusen, who grew up on the Devon coast where her great Uncle was an RNLI Coxswain also comments: “I’m proud to pull on the yellow wellies as my badge of support this Mayday. Lifeboat crews do a heroic job rescuing an average of 22 people a day. Most are volunteers and we need the public to dig deep so they can continue doing the great work they do.”

Mayday fundraising events are taking place right across the UK and Ireland, many with a yellow welly theme. Approximately 250 RNLI volunteers will be shaking collection buckets at train stations across London in support of Mayday. The public can also show their support on social media by using the hashtag #MaydayEveryday.

This Mayday, support the RNLI’s volunteer crews to keep them saving lives. Visit to donate and find out more information about how you can support Mayday.