Five decades of dedicated service recognised by MBE for RNLI fundraiser

Lifeboats News Release

Long-serving supporter and fundraiser Stephen Wood has been recognised for his dedication and hard work for the RNLI by being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year for services to Maritime Safety.

​​A dedicated ambassador for the RNLI, Stephen has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the RNLI since 1964. Despite not having a seafaring background, Stephen has recruited countless supporters for the RNLI, attracted brilliant spokespeople, introduced numerous influential people and solicited donations. His passion for the charity and his deep-felt admiration of the bravery and skill of the volunteer crew members are almost tangible.

Stephen was a founder member of the Leeds Under 30’s Branch, a group of young businessmen in Leeds who arranged innovative RNLI fundraising events, which enjoyed tremendous success. In particular, Stephen’s forté was organising Country House Opera Events which gave unprecedented access to events in stately homes for hundreds of people.

In 1999 Stephen co-founded the Leeds Business Branch where he was appointed Vice President.
From organising literary lunches to persuading famous authors to sign books to be auctioned for the RNLI, Stephen has taken the lead with numerous inspirational ideas and his vast experience and networks have proved to be a huge asset to the Branch.

On being awarded his MBE Stephen said ‘I feel this is a serious privilege and has enhanced my life. I have the highest regard for the crews that go out to sea and help preserve life.’

With his generosity, selflessness and his deep-felt admiration for the RNLI, Stephen has been a phenomenal supporter and the RNLI is honoured by Stephen’s altruistic commitment to the charity.

Notes to editors

  • Photo credit: RNLI Jon Stokes

For more information please contact the RNLI Press Office on tel: 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.