RNLI Torbay cyber volunteer
As the RNLI nationally prepares to honour its volunteers (1 – 7 June, RNLI Volunteer Week), RNLI Torbay is celebrating David Ham MBE who nearly 20 years ago initiated the the station website, making it one of the first stations in the UK to have its own web presence.
Born and educated in Torbay, David Ham studied engineering at Exeter and Brunel Colleges and went onto a successful engineering, design and managerial career with the National Grid (formerly CEGB).
Once retired, he moved back to Brixham in 2001 bringing with him a unique set of skills and the vision to see how important a website would be for our lifeboat station. Its hard to imagine today but a lot of people then couldn’t see the benefits, but David persisted and continues to manage the station’s comprehensive web presence to this day.
David Ham said: “Its fair to say that a lot of people thought I was mad when I suggested setting up a website in 2001. Its incredible to think that back in the day this was a radical move when now we take the internet for granted.
“Volunteering with the RNLI has helped me keep my cyber skills current. Its also a great privilege to work alongside a brilliant group of dedicated volunteers who make the RNLI in Torbay such a fantastic force for good.”
David has held a variety of other volunteer roles for RNLI Torbay over the past 20 years, including Lifeboat Operations Manager and Deputy Launch Authority. He is currently the admin of RNLI Torbay’s Lifeboat Management Group which he has previously chaired. He was awarded an MBE for his service to the RNLI in 2016.
Nick O’Brien, Lifeboat Operations Manager at RNLI Torbay says: “People tend to forget that behind the crew there are a whole team of skilled volunteers like David who work tirelessly to make our charity tick. For nearly 20 years he has been at the heart of station life. He is a mine of information on everything RNLI Torbay and we can’t thank him enough for all he puts in.”
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.