Recognition for Scarborough RNLI volunteers who go the extra mile

Lifeboats News Release

Five volunteers from the Scarborough RNLI team have received mayor’s commendations for work they do outside the charity.

John Wallis, Andy Volans and John Senior

RNLI/Erik Woolcott

John Wallis, Andy Volans and John Senior

Last year, John Wallis was asked by a friend who works at the hospital if he could make him a face shield. This was in the early days of the pandemic, at the stage where it became apparent there was a shortage of PPE.

'I put a message on Facebook asking where I could source materials', he says. 'Tony Viney rang me and helped me find what I needed.'

John was helped by lifeboat operations manager Andy Volans, who was head of the hospital’s A&E department until he retired a few years ago. Andy, who also received a mayor’s commendation, contacted GP surgeries, care homes, the local NHS trust, healthcare units, etc. Some of the shields even went to the Chelsea pensioners home in London.

The project began on a small scale but quickly grew into a big operation. 'We made thousands of components for 10,000 shields', John says: 'Lots of people got involved so it was a team effort.'

John Senior, a deputy launching authority, became involved with the distribution of the shields. He said: 'It was really John's effort that we were all hanging on to.' Andy agreed: 'John W did all the hard work; we just supported him with logistics, etc.'

Colin Woodhead, who chairs Scarborough RNLI’s management committee, received a commendation for his work with Dial-a-Ride.

The fifth member of the lifeboat team to receive a commendation is Mark Jenkinson, an emergency-care assistant with Yorkshire Ambulance Service who has been a volunteer on the all-weather Shannon lifeboat for four years.

The borough mayor, Hazel Lynskey, said: 'Last year, during the first lockdown, I asked residents to support my initiative in recognising the amazing, selfless work of so many during the extraordinary times we were experiencing to give personal recognition to individuals, households, groups or organisations who had gone that extra mile.'

The commendations were presented at a ceremony at Scarborough Spa.

The story made the front page of the Scarborough News on Thursday.

RNLI Media contacts

  • For details, ring Scarborough RNLI press officer Dave Barry on 07890 322992.
RNLI Picture captions

Photos by Erik Woolcott and Dave Barry, RNLI.

Mark Jenkinson

RNLI/Erik Woolcott

Mark Jenkinson
Colin Woodhead, third left

RNLI/Dave Barry

Colin Woodhead, third left
The front page of the Scarborough News
The front page of the Scarborough News

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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