Delivering at work and for the RNLI

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Natalie Arter postwoman and RNLI crew

Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of instant responses.

Effective communication between a lifeboat crew on a shout or to a member of the public in distress or danger is a vital skill to have. Natalie Arter, volunteer crew member at RNLI Rye Harbour, is not only a good communicator but delivers communications on a daily basis in her regular job as a postwoman at Rye delivery office.

Nat preparing to do a rope handling exercise

Natalie was born in Sutton, Surrey, but moved to Camber aged three with her mum and older brother. She has lived in Rye for the past sixteen years with her children Daniel, 17, and daughter Summer, 12. She was educated locally at Thomas Peacock School and admits that although being at school was fine, she was not very academic.

Growing up she first wanted to be a lifeguard and then an air-hostess. She studied travel and tourism in the sixth form but being hands-on rather than studying suited her better. She travelled to Spain to gain experience and did a season of bar work. She enjoyed working with a variety of people from different backgrounds and communicated well with the clientele.

One of Natalie’s strengths is coping well in stressful situations and keeping people calm around her. She joined the RNLI in 2017 and says it was one of the best decisions that she has made. She has gained many new skills, keeping her brain sharp and alert. Natalie especially enjoys the training. There is a really good programme running at each individual’s pace, depending upon other outside commitments. There is a great deal of help from more senior crew-members to keep Natalie energised and focused. She has also been to Head Office in Poole to learn sea survival skills and casualty care, which she really enjoyed.

Nat on a low-water launch

Natalie also joined the Post Office in 2017, having been manager of the Granary Club for many successful years. Her job keeps her active and fit which is essential for any crew-member. Both rôles involve working with the general public and good communication skills enable Natalie to do these jobs well. Her children are very proud of her.

Tony Peters, Helm at Rye Harbour, sums her up: “Nat came to us with big shoes to fill following her brother’s successful time at the station. Not only did she cope with this pressure but she shone out, proving to be a capable member of the crew and is very good in bolstering general morale. She shows massive strength by confronting difficult tasks and training to make sure things are perfect for the future. Lastly, Nat has a great ability to converse with people on all levels making stressful situations less traumatic.”

Image Credits: Kt Bruce .

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