Throughout October, a life-saving charity encouraged supporters to share a fish supper to help raise funds.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) marked this month with its ‘Fish Supper’ campaign – celebrating the journey of one the nation’s favourite dishes from hook to cooked by highlight its volunteers, who often have to leave their dinner to get cold to save lives.

Dave ‘Chippy’ Nicholson, a chip shop owner on Arran, volunteers with RNLI and knows the importance of looking out for each other.

He said: “I volunteered because I wanted to give something back to my wonderful community, because I love being at sea and also I’m a bit of an adrenaline junky.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

“After completing my in-depth training and passing out as a helm, I now feel it is a privilege to be able to help others in need as well as teach other crew what I know so they can better themselves, help others and above keep everyone safe.”

With restrictions in place due to COVID-19, this year’s Fish Supper events have been a bit different.

But Dave is used to reaching those who are more isolated than others.

He said: “I provide fresh, sustainable, nutritional meals... available in my shop Hooked and Cooked and from a small chip van that I take to the more remote villages on the island to ensure those in isolated places can still enjoy that special fish treat.”

Working in his chippy throughout the pandemic as well as being at the ready for any callouts means adapting to the current situation.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Dave’s role is primarily to ensure the safety of his crew and boat foremost through training ashore or afloat and more recently via online Zoom calls.

He also has to make sure that each and every time they launch, they do so quickly, professionally, safely and with a good outcome for all concerned.

The RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews have remained on service throughout the coronavirus pandemic, continuing to respond to emergencies and save lives while the country was in lockdown.

The charity’s lifesavers then faced an incredibly busy summer as people flocked to the coast when restrictions eased, with numerous incidents in the water between the Three Towns and Arran.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

He said: “I have been a crew in the lifeboat for almost five years now and a helm for two of those.

“I am responsible for the lifeboat, the crew who sail on her and the casualty we are going to help, so it can be quite challenging at times – but also very rewarding.”

Any funds raised can be donated at