Lifeboat crews receive royal medal for dedication
VOLUNTEERS of Portishead and Bristol Lifeboat Trust have been presented with the Queen's Jubilee Medal for their dedication to saving lives in the Bristol Channel.
Eighteen members of the trust, all of whom had been volunteers for five years or more and had worked as crew or shore helpers, were presented with the medal by North Somerset MP and lifeboat trust patron Liam Fox at a special celebration at The Downs School, Wraxall.
The medal is awarded to people who dedicate their lives to the public good and represent the best of the British spirit.
Lifeboat trust spokeswoman Helen Lazenby said: "The volunteers had no idea what was happening and were delighted and very honoured to receive this very distinguished award from the Queen in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee."
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The lifeboat trust, which is based at Sugar Loaf Beach, became operational in September 1996 and since then has been launched 323 times and assisted 400 people.
It is currently working with the RNLI on plans to build a new lifeboat station on the site of the former Masonic Lodge at Pier Road.
Bosses at the trust say a new building is needed to provide better facilities for crew members.
Crew member Dave Herbert, who has been with the trust since its creation in 1995, said: "It's a massive honour to be recognised for the important work that the trust does on the Bristol Channel by Her Majesty the Queen."
Dr Fox said "To present this medal to the members of the trust gives me an enormous amount of pleasure and as a Member of Parliament acting as patron to the Portishead and Bristol Lifeboat is one of the greatest honours."
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said: "It is right that we reward those people who, like the Queen, also dedicate their lives to public good and who represent the very best of the British spirit.
"I hope the official medal will serve as a mark of thanks to all those who give so much in the name of society and public service and I extend my congratulations to all the recipients."