Romance sparks 47 years of dedication for Harwich RNLI volunteer

Lifeboats News Release

At Harwich RNLI’s annual Black Tie evening volunteer shop manager Ann Brand was presented with a medal recognising nearly five decades of dedication to saving lives at sea.

RNLI/Peter Bull

Ann Brand as shop manager
On 2 April during Harwich RNLI’s Black Tie evening, Ann Brand was presented with a 40 Year Long Service Medal for her dedication to saving lives with the RNLI at Harwich, by Area Lifesaving Manager Graeme Richardson. The presentation was due to be held two years ago until Covid restrictions put it on hold.

Presenting Ann with the award, Graeme said: ‘Ann is a prime example why the RNLI made the right decision recently to extend the long service recognition medal to all volunteers, not just crew. Volunteers like Ann - of which there are over 23,000 - are the backbone of the charity, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure those volunteers going to sea have the best equipment and training to save lives.

On behalf of the RNLI family I would like to thank Ann for her now 47 years of dedicated service to the charity as part of the Ladies Guild, and as shop manager for the past 20 years, ensuring the Harwich lifeboats were able to answer the call for help.’

For over 33 years Ann’s husband Ken was a volunteer crew member and assistant mechanic for 10 of those years aboard the Harwich lifeboats. Little did she know when they met in 1972, his passion for the charity would become hers. Experiencing all the highs and lows, along with the fears associated with knowing a loved one is battling the storm to save the life of a complete stranger, Ann was driven to do all she could. After 47 years fundraising with the Ladies Guild and as shop manager, along with representing the charity twice at Buckingham Palace Garden Parties, she can rightly say the RNLI is ‘in her blood’.

If anyone would like to join Ann and her volunteer team running the Harwich RNLI shop, please email [email protected], or pop in for a chat.


RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact:
Richard Wigley, RNLI Harwich volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07903424698 or [email protected],

Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer on 07824518641 or [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI/Richard Wigley

Ann’s long service medal

RNLI/Peter Bull

Ann receiving her award from Area Lifesaving Manager Graeme Richardson

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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