IT may be the last thing on most people’s minds but some youngsters thoughts are turning to reindeer and snowmen to help save lives at sea.

The Poole-based RNLI has launched a Christmas Card competition called Create Christmas with four winners seeing their designs go on sale across the UK and Ireland.

Open to seven to 16-year-olds, the deadline is the end of September so youngsters can use their summer holidays to get creative.

There are three themes to choose from, The Rescue, Coastal Christmas and Christmas for the Crew, and the charity is hoping to receive a variety of imaginative and festive ideas which can be anything from hand drawings, collages or paintings to computer-generated designs.

Artist Emma Ball, who seagull design was one of the most popular festive cards for the RNLI last year, advises simple designs and planning a card by drawing sketches and showing them to family and friends before painting.

“Bright and cheerful cards always work well – you may be putting a smile on someone’s face when they receive them,” she said.

The four lucky winners will see their cards sold in a variety box next year through the charity’s shops, catalogue and website and they will win a two-night stay for three at the RNLI College in Poole as well as many more treats. Six runners-up will also see their designs produced as e-cards.

The closing date is September 30 and for full details and entry forms go to