Garforth fundraisers rewarded for two centuries of support for RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Fundraisers from the RNLI's Garforth branch who’ve racked up a combined 200 years volunteering are receiving a series of long service awards from the charity – and the heartfelt thanks of the stations they’ve supported.

RNLI/Christine Pitchfork

RNLI Garforth branch chair Christine Pitchfork with her medal

The five volunteers will receive three 40-year and two 30-year medals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the charity’s fundraising efforts.

Chair Christine Pitchfork and Secretary Mary Small have volunteered for 41 years (Mary at Cardiff branch for the first six), while Barrie Dodsworth recently stood down after 47 years fulfilling roles including Treasurer, Vice-chair, Souvenir Secretary and Education presenter. Current Treasurer Glynnis Huntington (36 years) and Souvenir Secretary John Huntington (35 years) complete the double century.

Garforth branch was formed in 1966. Its current membership of 13 raise around £10,000 per year for the RNLI. Before Covid-19 restrictions took hold, their activities included holding coffee mornings, race nights, selling souvenirs, home-made cakes and preserves, plant sales with plants grown by green-fingered members and street collections. Two education presenters also give talks on the work on RNLI and water safety to local schools, youth and adult groups.

The branch has held special events to support RNLI stations including Amble, Scarborough, Flamborough and Withersea, provided new kit and equipment for lifeguards at Bridlington and, along with the help of local schools, contributed towards new life jackets for Filey.

Christine Pitchfork, chair of RNLI Garforth branch, said ‘It is a tremendous achievement and honour for a small inland branch to have five members receiving well deserved awards, recognising their dedication, enthusiasm, hard work and support towards the vital work of the RNLI.

John Ward, spokesperson at RNLI Filey, said ‘We and our sister stations up and down the coast would like offer our congratulations to the five members of Garforth branch on reaching this incredible milestone.

‘The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Without the passion and dedication of volunteer fundraisers like Christine and her team we wouldn’t be able to continue to save lives at sea.’

To learn more about volunteering for the RNLI, visit jobs.rnli.org.

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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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 142,200 lives.

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.

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