John Horne recently joined DNASTREAM as a part time project manager. But away from his desk he is part of another team, he is an RNLI volunteer at Kippford Lifeboat Station where he’s part of the Lifeboat crew. We find out what it means to be a volunteer and how important it is to have a flexible employer to support you in the role.
How long have you been with DNASTREAM?
I came out of retirement to work with DNASTREAM. I knew Debbie from our work together at National Grid. She came to me when she was looking for an experienced Project Manager. I started out with a short term contract but now I’m a permanent employee, although only on a part time basis.
I don’t think anyone else could have tempted me out of retirement. It was new to me to work for a smaller company, previously I’d worked with large, multi-nationals, regulators, and in finance. DNASTREAM has much more of a family feel, they are all good people and it really feels like everyone is pulling in the same direction. If there is an issue then it genuinely feels like it’s all hands to the pump.
When did you join the RNLI as a volunteer?
I started my RNLI training in March 2022, so I knew about this commitment before I joined DNASTREAM. Normally it takes 18 months to complete the training but I’m hoping to have it completed in 12 months. I couldn’t have done that without the company’s support. They have been very flexible, allowing me to attend onshore and offshore training each week, to attend national training days down in Poole, and ultimately to be ready to drop everything if there is a callout. It’s a big commitment from a company, but it’s really important that an employer supports their volunteers.
Where do you volunteer?
I’m a volunteer at Kippford Lifeboat Station, which was established in 1966. Kippford Lifeboat Station is on the Solway Coast in southern Scotland covering a patch that includes both part of the Solway and the river Urr.
How has DNSTREAM supported Kippford Lifeboat Station?
DNASTREAM is in the process of buying some essential training equipment. Effectively it’s a dummy, but one that we can throw overboard so it can also be used to train search and rescue drills and man-overboard operations.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives