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Dozens of Welsh volunteers honoured for their decades of dedication to the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers who have given decades – and in some cases a whole lifetime – of dedicated service to the RNLI have been recognised at a special event.

Some of the charity’s volunteers honoured at an awards ceremony at the Guildhall in Swansea on Friday (30 September) have been helping the RNLI save lives at sea for half a century.

No fewer than 25 lifeboat crew members and fundraisers from across Wales received awards, some of whom started out with the charity way back in the 1960s. The awards were presented by outgoing RNLI Chairman Charles Hunter-Pease.

Among the recipients were a Port Talbot RNLI stalwart who began fundraising in 1966, fundraisers whose branches have raised more than half-a-million pounds for the charity and a Penarth fundraiser who began supporting the RNLI as a 12-year-old putting pins in flags for the charity’s old flag days.

Adele Fuller, RNLI Community Fundraising Area Manager, thanked the group for their continuous hard work and support.

She said: ‘We’re here to celebrate the tireless work that goes on in our stations and fundraising groups – often quietly, often behind the scenes, always without fuss or fanfare.  Well today is our opportunity to make that fuss and say a heartfelt thank you to each of you for the many dedicated years of support you have given. 

‘You are the driving force behind all of the RNLI’s lifesaving work. Without you, we simply couldn’t do it. Our lifeboat crews, lifeguards and flood rescue can save lives because we have your support.’

Bar to Gold Badge Awards, which are given for exceptional long-service, were awarded to Anne Bromley from Penarth Branch, who has given 40 years’ service, Sylvia Hotchin, who started with Fishguard and Goodwick Ladies Guild in 1977 and Jean Jones, who has been fundraising with Port Talbot Branch for 50 years.

Also receiving Bar to Gold Badge Awards were Saundersfoot Branch stalwart of 25 years Pam Mortimer, Peter Muxworthy, who has served as crew, Lifeboat Operations Manager and Treasurer at Horton and Port Eynon RNLI since 1968, Rowena Sturdgess, who began with Fishguard and Goodwick Branch in 1980, Aberdyfi RNLI Lifeboat Operation Manager David Williams, who first joined the crew back in 1974 and Criccieth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Peter Williams, who has given more than 50 years’ service saving lives at sea.

One of the 10 Gold Badge Awards was given posthumously. Denis Cooke, who was one of the founder members of the Hakin Point branch in 1973 and was the box secretary there for over 35 years, passed away since his Gold badge was awarded. The award was collected on his behalf by his daughter Elizabeth Taylor.

Also receiving Gold Badge Awards were Judy Davies from Aberaeron Branch, Bethan Edwards from Aberdyfi Branch, Sandi Godsen from Monmouth Branch, Wyn Griffiths from Tenby Station Branch, Brin Hurford from Horton and Port Eynon Branch, Genevieve Thomas from Cardiff Branch and Pam Walton from Penarth RNLI Souvenir Shop.

Two Honorary Life Governor Awards – the highest bestowed on non-operational RNLI volunteers – were given to Ken Ainge and Mary Whitewright, both from Little and Broad Haven Branch.

Supported by the charity’s fundraisers, RNLI lifeboat crews across the coast dedicate years of service to saving lives at sea.  St Davids RNLI Helm Will Chant and Deputy Second Coxswain Robin Copley and Port Talbot RNLI Helm Leon Murphy were all presented the RNLI’s 20-year Long Service Badge by RNLI Divisional Operations Manager Paul Eastment.

Dai John, St Davids RNLI Coxswain was presented a 30-year Long Service Badge and Daniel Richards from Angle RNLI was presented a 40-year Long Service Badge.

Paul Eastment said: ‘Becoming a lifeboat or shore crew member is a serious commitment for anyone – volunteers must respond to their pagers at a moment’s notice, leaving behind their family, their friends and their jobs to go to someone’s rescue. To take on that responsibility for many decades is an even greater commitment, which we recognise today.’

Notes to editors:

Attached is a photo of the RNLI awardees at the 2016 RNLI Presentation Awards, held at The Guildhall, Swansea, with the charity’s outgoing Chairman, Charles Hunter-Pease, Area Fundraising Manager Adele Fuller and Divisional Operations Managers Paul Eastment and Lee Firman. Credit RNLI.

Photos and more detailed information on each individual receiving and award is available on request from Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 01745 585162 / 07748 265496 or email chris_cousens@rnli.org.uk.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland