Nic Salt’s volunteering ‘hobby’

As we celebrate this Platinum Jubilee year and our 200th anniversary, we’ve been giving an extra big shout out to our amazing volunteers around the UK. For many it’s a calling and a way of life – giving something back to the community and receiving the rewards and satisfaction of helping to keep people safe around our coasts.

For volunteer Nic Salt, Deputy Station Officer at Aberdovey on the rugged coast of West Wales, volunteering may be what she modestly calls her ‘hobby’ but it’s become a way of life that’s opened up a wealth of opportunities.

After training, some members of the Aberdovey Coastguard Rescue Team enjoy a nice 'cuppa' and a slice of bara brith - a special type of Welsh cake. Left to right are: In the photo is Geoff Unsworth Station Officer, Lee Bell Coastguard Rescue Officer and Nic Salt, Deputy Station Officer. Bara brith cake courtesy of Deputy Station Officer for the Barmouth team, Richie Jones


“Being brought up on the coast, I always knew I would volunteer with the Coastguard - it was a case of when and not if. It’s turned into what I sometimes call my favourite hobby because it’s such an important part of my life that keeps evolving in ways I’d never have anticipated,” she said.

Extended family

“Being a coastguard is very like having an extended family, you all look out for each other and that’s a really nice thing. You see some people regularly but when you meet members from a distant family, you still share the same roots and sense of purpose.”

She fits her volunteering work around her life as a health practitioner, covering a rural area within a 40 miles radius of her Aberdovey home and the family farm which she says “can get a bit lively at lambing time”. 

Development opportunities

Nic also puts herself forward to work on secondment and was selected to work at last year’s COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. She joined other coastguard volunteers selected from teams around the UK, helping to provide 24/7 safety patrols along the Clyde.

“It was absolutely brilliant even though it was quite hard work.  Our feet definitely ached from patrolling the two mile stretch which took my step count to new levels. It meant we also had time to chat properly and compare notes with people from other teams as well, from Cornwall to the tip of Scotland.

“When I started volunteering about nine years ago, I never imagined the diversity of work, the fascinating people I would meet and how it’s opened up my eyes to life around the coasts of the UK. The best thing of all is working with a great bunch of very different people, working towards the same goal, it doesn’t get much more satisfying than that,” she said.

If you are interested in volunteering opportunities with HM Coastguard, please contact your local area management team to find out if there are any opportunities. You’ll find all the information here: Volunteer as a Coastguard 

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