RNLI volunteers get their just rewards

Joyce Westlake
Joyce Westlake

LOCAL stalwarts of the RNLI have been rewarded for their dedication to the charity at a regional awards ceremony.

The glittering event at York Racecourse on Sunday saw Bridlington Lifeboat Luncheon Club members Gillian Bapty, Joyce Westlake, and Freda Davis receive Gold and Bronze Badges, while shop volunteer and former Pride of Bridlington Award-winner Albert Wilby also picked up a Bronze Badge.

Albert Wilby

Albert Wilby

Gillian has been a committee member of the Bridlington Lifeboat Luncheon Club for more than 30-years and has held office as vice chairman, chairman, treasurer, speaker finder – in fact almost every official position possible.

She received the top honour of a Gold Badge along with fellow Luncheon Club committee member Joyce Westlake.

Speaking of the ladies’ achievements, Louise Bath, RNLI fund-raising and communications manager, North, said: “In Gillian Bapty you have the ultimate all rounder!

“She is a warm, cheerful lady who is well respected in the area and her support for the RNLI is 100%.

Louise added: “Joyce is an excellent supporter and a very well-liked lady, who always has the best interests of the RNLI at heart.

“She will do anything she can to promote the Service, and in particular the Bridlington Lifeboat Station.”

Joyce said that she was delighted with her award and of the achievements of her fellow Luncheon Club members.

She said: “We all had such a lovely time, everybody is so nice and friendly and we always say that these events are like lifeboat family occasions.

“We do work very hard, not only do we have a raffle at our meetings but we also do things in between such as coffee morning and we have a knitting circle who make things for us.

“It keeps us busy, but it is always very, very enjoyable.”

Luncheon Club chairman Freda Davis was given a Bronze Badge for her services to the RNLI, and Louise Bath said: “She is an excellent chairman and is always looking for something a little different to make their fund-raising interesting and varied.”

Albert Wilby, who scooped the Pride of Bridlington 2010 Outstanding Contribution to the Area Award, has now added an RNLI Bronze Badge to his trophy cabinet following Sunday’s ceremony.

He was given the award for his hard work as souvenir secretary of the two RNLI shops in Bridlington.

Louise said that Albert was always prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ in his work which has seen him paint and decorate the shops without being asked as well as volunteering in the shops and at outdoor events.

She added: “Albert’s life seems to revolve around the shop and its activities and, rather than have the shop shut, he often covers extra shifts when volunteers are unable to fulfil their slot. He is a helpful, willing volunteer and always cheerful and happy to try out new technology and new products.

“Albert always tries to beat the previous year’s takings and has achieved this consistently.”

Speaking after the ceremony, Albert said: “It was a brilliant event, I went with my daughters and two lads from work and we had a great time. I knew I was getting an award but I didn’t know what it was, so it was a nice surprise to receive a Bronze Badge.”