Dedicated volunteers and fundraisers for the RNLI are among those recognised in New Year’s Honours
Several members of the RNLI have been recognised for their upstanding voluntary work in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
Chris Lewis, one of the longest serving lifeguards in the UK, has been recognised with an MBE.
The Poole and Bournemouth lifeguard has dedicated 52 years of voluntary lifesaving as part of the Royal Lifesaving Society and RNLI and is among those recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours. Chris, aged 67, is still saving lives today and has performed hundreds of rescues and thousands of lifeguard patrols.
Chris said of the award, “I’m amazed, it’s amazing to hear someone from the RNLI has put me forward for this award. I’ve been lifeguarding since I was 16 with the RNLI and RLSS and it’s been a great incentive to keep myself fit.”
Humber lifeboat station Coxswain David Steenvoorden has been awarded an MBE. David has served as an RNLI crew member for over 30 years and started as a volunteer at Cleethorpes Lifeboat Station in 1987. He then joined the Humber crew three years later and has served there for over 26 years.
David said: “I am walking around two feet off the ground today – I am gobsmacked and overwhelmed. You just go about your business in you job and then this pops up and I am so proud. I always say that a Coxswain is only as good as their crew so this is real recognition for the whole of our crew.”
Humber Lifeboat Station also first inspired dedicated fundraiser Richard Marriott, who has been awarded a BEM. Richard is one of the most dedicated volunteer fundraisers within the RNLI and over 37 years he has raised close to £250,000. He was first inspired to fundraise after visiting the Humber Lifeboat Station.
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Two RNLI volunteers in Wales have also been recognised for their service.
David (Dai) Jenkins, from Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station, has been awarded an MBE in this year’s honours list. Dai began as a crew member at Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station and over the years has taken on a variety volunteer roles including Lifeboat Operations Manager. For the last 17 years he has been a dedicated fundraiser and treasurer.
On receiving the news of his award Dai said, “When I got the letter, I was totally and utterly amazed – why me? Everything I’ve done is because I’m interested in things, and not for any award.”
William Hopkins has been President of Port Talbot Lifeboat Station since 1990 and has been recognised with an MBE for his services to the community, particularly maritime safety and children, in South Wales. William has overseen the fundraising for, and arrival of, three new lifeboats.
On receiving the award, William said, “It’s an immense honour. The work I’ve done is for the community, not for recognition. There are so many who deserve an award for what they do. All I’ve done for the schools, lifeboats and crime prevention – it’s all for the community, it’s where we live.”
RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissier said, ‘The RNLI depends on the commitment, skill and courage of its volunteers, staff and fundraisers – and those that have been named in this year’s New Year Honours epitomise those qualities. I’m delighted that these wonderful and well-deserving people have been recognised.’