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RNLI staff and volunteers recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Lifeboats News Release

For their contributions to helping to save lives at sea, three long-standing RNLI staff and volunteers were among those recognised in this year’s Queens’ Birthday Honours.


Eddie Donaldson - RNLI Deputy Chair and Treasurer

Those recognised include: Eddie Donaldson, RNLI Deputy Chair and Treasurer, who received an OBE for his significant and demanding portfolio of charity work; Howard Ramm, former Maritime Standards and Performance Manager received an MBE for services to the RNLI, and Richard Dunk, President at Bridlington Lifeboat Station received a BEM for voluntary services to the RNLI.

RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie says: ‘I am delighted to see these RNLI people recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours. The RNLI depends on the courage, commitment and skills of its volunteers, fundraisers and staff, and this is a testament to the hard work and dedication of some of those who help us to continue to save lives at sea.’

Eddie Donaldson (BSc FCA), an RNLI Deputy Chair and Treasurer, received an OBE for his significant and demanding portfolio of charity work.

As a Trustee, Eddie is part of a body of volunteers who carry the full financial and legal responsibility for everything the RNLI does. In 2013 he took on the role of Treasurer of the charity, so is closely involved in the RNLI’s financial management.

Providing financial advice to the RNLI has been a family affair – Eddie’s father was Treasurer and Chair of the RNLI’s Enfield fundraising branch in North London.

Thanks to his diligent oversight of the RNLI’s finances and investments, Eddie has helped guide growth in the charity’s financial stability. As well as giving his skills, Eddie is extremely generous with his time, and has a gift of making everyone feel both valued and appreciated.

Since retiring from KPMG in 2010, Eddie has committed a large amount of his time to working with various charities, primarily those which help disadvantaged, vulnerable and underprivileged young people. His roles have included Chair, Trustee and Treasurer.

Eddie says: ‘It’s an honour to receive an OBE for my charity work. I am immensely proud to help such fantastic organisations which make such a difference to people’s lives. I have always admired those in the RNLI who risk their lives for others. It’s a privilege to serve the RNLI and I am grateful for the opportunity to come onboard myself and apply my knowledge and expertise to ensure the longevity of such a fantastic institution.’

Stuart Popham, RNLI Chair said: ‘We are delighted that Eddie has been recognised for the significant and demanding portfolio of charity work that he undertakes. He is endlessly generous with his time, skills and experience and the RNLI, along with Create and a number of other charities are incredibly fortunate to have the commitment of such a dedicated volunteer.’

Howard Ramm, former Maritime Standards and Performance Manager, receives an MBE for services to the RNLI.

Howard has been pivitol in the many roles he has held at the RNLI. His innovation in the field of water-related accident prevention led to the breakthrough for the RNLI to shift from solely search and rescue, to a focus on community safety which aims to help prevent drowning with education and awareness. There is now a team dedicated to engaging with people both on and off the water, to offer potentially lifesaving safety advice. Since this new model was established, the team have engaged with thousands of individuals, groups and clubs. One direct result of this breakthrough in thinking is the charity’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water.

In 2013, Howard recognised that, while there were lots of organisations that taught children to swim in pools, there was no-one teaching people how to stay safe when bathing at beaches. This was when the Swim Safe programme was born as a joint venture between the RNLI and Swim England. There are now nearly 30,000 children joining the Swim Safe programme annually.

George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director said: ‘For Howard to receive this national recognition is both richly deserved and reflects well on RNLI volunteers, staff and partners in other organisations he has worked with to reduce drowning. Howard’s innovative thinking and leadership has ensured that great ideas have come to fruition to help save lives.’

On receiving his award Howard said: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled, you just don’t expect this type of recognition. It really is an honour. The work I’ve been involved with during my time with the RNLI has been varied but I’m so proud to have directly influenced the prevention work of the charity. Having been involved with the conception of the Respect the Water campaign and other initiatives in 2013, seeing the messages continue to save lives year after year is a credit to the whole of the RNLI.’

Richard Dunk, President at Bridlington Lifeboat Station, is to receive a BEM for voluntary service to the RNLI.

Richard joined the Bridlington Lifeboat Station Management Group in 1996 and the following year was appointed Vice Chairman which he held til 1998 when he became Chairman then President in 2018.

During his term of office he has worked alongside five Coxswains and five Lifeboat Operations Managers and has helped implement many changes over the years.

He was at the forefront of the negotiations and the decision-making which brought about the building of a new boathouse for the Bridlington Shannon class lifeboat.

A keen yachtsman and a lifelong supporter of the RNLI, Richard already holds the RNLI Gold and Silver medals for his services to the Bridlington lifeboat.

Commenting on his award Richard said: ‘It was an honour and a privilege to work alongside not only the operational side of the station but the wider community whose support is vital to the wellbeing of the RNLI in their support of the brave crew members who put their lives at risk to save others. The station continues to go from strength to strength and I am privileged to be part of this continued success.’

Darren Lewis, RNLI Lifesaving Manager said: ‘On behalf of the RNLI I would like to congratulate Richard on receiving his BEM. Richard has been a leading force over many years in the development and success of Bridlington’s new Lifeboat Station. His vision and enthusiasm has brought real vigour to his voluntary role as Chairman. His ability to lead teams of both fundraising and operational volunteers are a credit to his warm personality and tenacious leadership skills. That Richard generously commits his time to his other volunteering roles within Bridlington, only exemplifies the commitment he has made to the RNLI and how well deserved this honour is.’


Howard Ramm - Former RNLI Maritime Standards and Performance Manager


Richard Dunk - President at Bridlington Lifeboat Station

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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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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.