Four giant wellies have been placed around the country to promote the RNLI’s Mayday campaign


The RNLI has unveiled a series of eight foot tall yellow wellington boot sculptures to mark the launch of its national fundraising Mayday campaign.

The larger-than-life welly boots touched down at 9am in London, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh to mark the start of the RNLI’s flagship fundraising campaign.

The welly unveiling marks the start of a busy weekend of fundraising for the lifesaving charity, as dedicated RNLI fundraisers will be out in force and a host of welly-themed events will be happening across the UK and Ireland over the bank holiday weekend.

Fundraisers and volunteer lifeboat crew members will accompany each giant yellow welly to collect donations and talk to members of the public about the RNLI’s lifesaving work.

The RNLI is encouraging anyone near the giant wellies – which will be in situ for one day – to visit, take photos and show their support on social media using the hashtag #YellowWelly and @RNLI.

The London #YellowWelly will be situated at St. Katharine Docks until 6.30pm on 1 May.

Mayday campaign

Credit: RNLI

One Londoner keen to give it some welly and show their support for the RNLI is 75-year-old Russell Shaw, a writer from Barnes. Mr Shaw is supporting the RNLI Mayday campaign after the charity saved the lives of his two best friends – Eddie McElligott and his pet dog, Easy – last year.

Mr Shaw said: “I can’t believe I nearly lost the two of them. Eddie was taking my dog Easy for a walk along the Thames, near Chiswick, when Easy bolted after a squirrel. Eddie lost his footing and fell into the water.

“He couldn’t get out and became weak and hypothermic, trying to keep his head above the water. If it wasn’t for the Chiswick RNLI lifeboat crew coming to rescue him and retrieving Easy, I dread to think what would have happened.”

Ben Ainslie in his yellow wellies

Ben Ainslie wearing his yellow wellies in support of the RNLI

A host of celebrities have already backed the campaign, including Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and presenter Dermot O’Leary by posing for photoshoots wearing RNLI yellow wellies.

To donate, visit or text MAYDAY to 70007 to donate £3.

Funds raised through the Mayday campaign will help fund the RNLI’s lifesaving work.

Texts cost £3 + standard network rate. Please ensure you have the bill payer’s permission. The RNLI will receive £3.