Last month, thousands of Australians swapped their regular work attire for board shorts on Friday, March 28 as a fun and easy way to thank the 45 thousand volunteers who each year donate more than 1.4 million hours to save the lives of others on Australia’s beaches.
Now, it’s the lifesavers who are saying thanks.
A few months ago The Red Republic joined forced with Australia’s iconic Surf Life Saving foundation, to raise awareness for their national appeal ‘Boardies Day’ and vital funds for SLS clubs across Australia.
Each year, the foundation faces an ever increasing demand for funds to support the nation’s largest volunteer movement. Last year, our volunteer surf lifesavers rescued 12,610 Australians, provided vital emergency care for 34,033 people and reunited more than 1,000 children with their families.
More than 610,000 lives have been saved since Surf Life Saving was established.
But saving lives comes at a cost; beach patrols cost a minimum of $52,000 for vital equipment and every new member costs $850 to train. With 311 clubs Australia wide and extensive support services provided around the coastline, that’s a significant financial outlay every year.
With 70 per cent of Surf Life Saving Foundation’s income coming directly from public funding, fundraising days such as Boardies Day are incredibly important and it was our job to make sure all Australians are aware of this!
We embarked on a strategic national campaign, raising awareness in all states and territories by securing coverage in national, metro and local publications – across print, online TV and radio.
We kicked off by securing extensive local coverage, profiling the incredible work each individual SLS club does in their own community. This was backed up by coverage in major national publications, profiling key ambassadors and sharing phenomenal stories of rescue and survival.
We were incredibly lucky to have Ironman World Champion turned motivational speaker Trevor Hendy and former My Kitchen Rules contestant turned fitness fanatic Luke Hines on board as ambassadors. Both Trevor and Luke spoke on national TV passionately about the cause, encouraging all Australians to get in their boardies for Boardies Day and help raise vital funds.
We were also thrilled to have the support of well-known national brands and businesses such as DHL, Grill’d, LooseKid Industries and Wendy’s who supported the cause by offering donation incentives to customers. Gaining and securing the support of major Australian businesses was vital in pushing donations through established channels – helping to boost the overall total raised.
Undermining the whole period was an elaborate social media campaign which engaged various online communities via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In just a few months we gained thousands of followers through targeted posts, inspirational shared content and exclusive behind the scene pictures.
Working with Australia’s surf lifesavers, the foundation and passionate ambassadors on a day-to-day basis was a privilege for our entire team! Keep watching this space for further Boardies Day updates, announcing how much was raised and who the highest fundraisers are! If you’d like to donate, please visit www.boardiesday.com.au.