RNLI volunteers recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours
Three long-standing Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for their contribution to saving lives at sea.
Those recognised by the RNLI’s Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, are Gareth Horner, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Newquay RNLI who has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE); Andy Morgan, Visits Officer and Water Safety Volunteer at Shoreham Harbour RNLI who is awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM); and Central London Committee member Monica Sharp, who has also received the BEM.
RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie said: ‘As we continue to navigate the challenges of delivering a 24/7 rescue service during a global pandemic, I am delighted to see these RNLI volunteers recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
‘The resilience and ingenuity of our volunteers over the last 15 months has continued to amaze me and these three personify the very best RNLI values in their ongoing commitment to our cause. It is particularly pleasing to see our visits, water safety and fundraising volunteers recognised alongside our operational crew.
‘On behalf of everyone at the RNLI, my congratulations to you all and thank you for everything you do to help save lives at sea.’
Gareth has volunteered with the charity for 47 years and spent the last 17 as the Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) at Newquay Lifeboat Station.
As an integral part of Newquay Lifeboat Station since first joining as a volunteer in 1974, Gareth has served as lifeboat crew, shore crew, launch authority and now LOM. During his service, Newquay have saved more than 100 lives as one of the RNLI’s busiest lifeboat stations.
Gareth encourages his fellow volunteers to embrace new training developments within the lifesaving world and has overseen the introduction of two new lifeboats at the station (the D-class and Atlantic 85). Since 2009, Gareth has worked on local initiatives such as Newquay Safe to ensure young people are made aware of the dangers of the coast. Initiatives like these are credited with vastly reducing the number of serious injuries and deaths.
Gareth said: ‘This award reflects the hard work and dedication of the whole team at Newquay Lifeboat Station. Without them I would have never been nominated in the first place or done what we have achieved.
‘Neither would it have happened without the love, support and understanding from my wife, Shirley. I am one small cog in the machine that is the RNLI, particularly at Newquay Lifeboat Station.’
Andy has spent 20 years volunteering for the RNLI and now shares his love of Shoreham Harbour Lifeboat Station with the local community as a Visits Officer and Water Safety Volunteer.
Since 2001, he has spoken to more than 34,000 children through presentations in schools and youth groups, led on life-skills events reaching over 40,000 children, and engaged with another 12,000 children at community outreach events.
Under his stewardship as a Lifeboat Visits Officer, visits to the station grew in popularity with a record number within his first year. Before the pandemic, the station was seeing more than 15,000 visitors a year. As a result, the station became the first in the RNLI to receive official Visit England accreditation in August 2019.
Shoreham Harbour Lifeboat Operations Manager Andrew Shiner said: ‘As a station we are delighted that someone of Andy’s calibre has received this award. He has been a long-standing member of the engagement team and his dedication and enthusiasm to the role is seen by everyone.’
Monica Sharp has been a pivotal member of the RNLI Central London Committee for more than 35 years, serving as chair between 1997 and 2000.
Across two annual flagship events – the Golf Day and Bridge Afternoon – she has helped raise more than £600,000 for the RNLI, supporting numerous other fundraising events, including London Lifeboat Day and the Carol Service.
Zena Al-Jalili, Chair of the Central London Committee, said: ‘As a committee we are delighted that Monica’s achievements have been recognised. Monica is a key member of our committee and has worked tirelessly raising incredible amounts for the RNLI.’
The RNLI would also like to congratulate Jeremy Fleming, Director of GCHQ and Chair of The Lifeboat Fund, for receiving a knighthood. The Lifeboat Fund is an official charity of the Civil Service that exists solely to support the work of the RNLI. Since its foundation in 1866, The Lifeboat Fund has become one of the longest-serving supporters and biggest single contributors to the RNLI, funding 53 lifeboats to date. The most recent being a new Shannon class lifeboat which will go on service at Wells-next-the-Sea in the Autumn of 2022. The charity’s current appeal is supporting RNLI lifeguards at sites across the UK, the Swim Safe programme, and Sea Safe in Bangladesh.
Notes to editors
- Photo 1: Gareth Horner, Newquay RNLI. Credit: Tim Stevens
- Photo 2: Andy Morgan with his RNLI Silver Badge for his educational awareness work with schools in the region, Shoreham Harbour RNLI. Credit: Shoreham Harbour RNLI
- Gareth Horner and Andy Morgan are available for interview
- For more information on how to volunteer for the RNLI, go to RNLI.org/support-us/volunteer
- To donate to the RNLI, go to RNLI.org/GoDonate
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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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