Bridlington RNLI volunteers win top awards

Albert Wilby receiving his award from John Stobbart, Coxswain Workington Lifeboat
Albert Wilby receiving his award from John Stobbart, Coxswain Workington Lifeboat
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THE HARD work and long-service of two Bridlington residents was recognised by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution at a ceremony last month.

Albert Wilby and the team of volunteers who run the RNLI shops in the town, and Gillian Cape, of the Bridlington Ladies Lifeboat Luncheon Club, were amongst more than 30 RNLI volunteers from across the north of England who received awards at the ceremony, held in York.

The annual awards are a way of thanking volunteers who have worked tirelessly for many years to support and vital raise funds for the RNLI.

Albert picked up the national Retail Award, for his work in identifying and opening a new shop on King Street, as well as in other shops, in Bridlington, while Mrs Cape won the silver badge for her tireless fundraising efforts.

After asking Albert to find a new shop to extend the charity’s sale of gifts and cards, Louise Barth, RNLI Fundraising and Communications Area Manager, said: “Albert was amazing and within just a matter of weeks had found an empty shop unit.

“He and the other volunteers then worked tirelessly painting the shop walls, glossing the paintwork, and fitting flooring to help get the shop up and running and he also successfully appealed for volunteers to help to run the shop.

“Due to their sheer hard work, energy and enthusiasm, Albert and the volunteers who run the RNLI shops in Bridlington are very worthy winners of this award and they are an asset to the RNLI.”

It wasn’t the first time Albert has appeared at an award ceremony this, after he also received the RNLI Retail Award from the Duke of Gloucester in London in May.

Commenting on Mrs Cape’s win, Louise Barth continued: “Gillian has been a dedicated and hard working member of Bridlington Luncheon Club for 15 years.

“Although their primary fundraising is based around their monthly lunches, they also organise other events and Gillian is instrumental in ensuring the success of the programme.

“In addition, they always offer to help when an opportunity to collect at the local Tesco store comes round and, again, Gillian is quick to be involved.”

She added: “Volunteers are the life force of the RNLI and our annual awards ceremony is a great opportunity to demonstrate the fantastic work of those people who help keep our charity afloat. “The courage and commitment of the RNLI’s lifeboatmen and women is renowned but we must never forget that out crews could not perform their lifesaving role without the dedication of a large band of volunteer fundraisers and supporters who are often hard at work behind the scenes.”