Donaghadee RNLI Fundraising Chairperson Awarded BEM in New Year's Honours

Lifeboats News Release

Evelyn Bennett, who has been the Chair of the Donaghadee Royal National Lifeboat Institution Fundraising branch since 2005 has been honoured with a British Empire Medal (BEM).

Evelyn Bennett


Evelyn Bennett

Evelyn has been instrumental in encouraging the local community to fundraise for their lifeboat station and to support them in their life-saving work and activities. Evelyn, along with a strong and dedicated fundraising team supporting her, is a key organiser of the annual Donaghadee Lifeboat Festival which is now in its 12th year. The festival brings thousands of people, of all age groups to the town, to view the station's All-Weather Lifeboat Saxon and to get know the lifeboat crew and fundraising team.

Evelyn’s working career began as a personal secretary with the BBC, and when a family came along she became heavily involved in her local community via the Community Association and Donaghadee Sailing Club before investing herself within the RNLI Donaghadee Fundraising Committee.

Evelyn’s passion for the RNLI is a family held one. Her late husband Murdoch was a volunteer with the lifeboat for over thirty years and the tradition is proudly carried on by her son Ross. Her enthusiasm, good humour and dedication shines through and encourages all those around her to give what they can in support of the lifeboat.

Commenting on her award of the British Empire Medal, Evelyn said, ‘I am overwhelmed to have been chosen to receive this honour. The RNLI is a charity I am proud to volunteer for and it is one that is very close to my heart. When we set up the new branch in 2005 we brought a great team together who worked tirelessly to support the station and we are still doing it today’


RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Margaret Ramm, Donaghadee RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07746633365, email or contact Nuala McAloon RNLI Regional Media Officer Ireland on 00353876483547 or email or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Regional Media Manager Ireland on 00353871254124 or

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.

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