It was a very proud day for Rossall Point volunteers when we attended a formal ceremony at County Hall to be presented with the crystal award and commemorative parchment signed by Her Majesty the Queen. The photograph shows the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth, meeting members of the station and congratulating them on their receipt of this prestigious award. There are over 8,000 registered voluntary groups in Lancashire, and Rossall Point NCI was honoured to join the handful of organisations selected to receive this accolade in 2017. The official citation made reference to the fact that our volunteers keep watch for more than 5,000 man hours each year, and reserved particular praise for our engagement with the local community. A great honour, in which every watchkeeper has taken considerable pride.
The watchkeepers at Rossall Point were surprised and delighted to find that they had been chosen as a BBC ‘Coastal Champion’, resulting in a national TV appearance on the Breakfast Show. The nomination had been made by our good friend, Carol, who is a regular visitor along the promenade and beach at Rossall. Carol, who has mobility problems, is accompanied by her faithful support dog, Charlie, who is trained to fetch help from the watchkeepers if she is in difficulty. Carol made the nomination as a ‘thank you’ to the volunteers who keep watch over her and other users of the coast – a gesture which was hugely appreciated by all of the station’s watchkeepers.
We were delighted to receive a visit in August from Linda Marr, Chair of House at Fleetwood Golf Club and a past Ladies Captain. The Golf Club is one of our strongest supporters and Linda called in to present us with a cheque for £324, representing the proceeds from a raffle held during a recent ladies’ competition at the Club involving all of the major Fylde golf clubs. Linda agreed to pass on our grateful thanks to all of the members at the Golf Club, and she is photographed here at the presentation with Bob Loynes (Station Manager) and Brian Johnson (Fundraising Officer).
Boost for SAR capability
On Monday the 6th June members of Fleetwood Town Council handed the station a cheque for over £950 to enable us to complete the purchase of a new Search & Rescue package. An incident in fading light last winter involving a small vessel taking on water had highlighted a specific need for watchkeepers to be able to maintain visual contact, and to communicate effectively in poor visibility. This latest generous donation from the Town Council has allowed Rossall Point to enhance its capability by acquiring new binoculars with improved specification for low-light conditions, together with a powerful loudhailer and light. Members of the station are pictured receiving the cheque from Leader of the Council, Terry Rogers and other Councillors.
Royal Recognition for Rossall Point
We are delighted to announce that Rossall Point has been honoured to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2017. This prestigious award is the equivalent of the MBE for voluntary organisations, and is the highest award made to groups in the UK. The station was nominated for the award by Cat Smith MP, and her proposal was given strong support locally – notably by Fleetwood Lifeboat and the Fleetwood Nautical College.
The official citation acknowledges our role in keeping a lookout for the safety of users of the Fleetwood and Wyre coastline, and the National Panel which advises HM The Queen particularly wished to record their admiration for the community work that we do. All of the volunteer watchkeepers share a tremendous sense of pride in having their work recognised by such a wonderful award.