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RNLI honoured at Media Isle of Man Awards for Excellence

Thu, 23 Nov 2023

RNLI/Charli Dimelow
RNLI/Charli Dimelow

The Media Isle of Man Awards for Excellence, now in its 17th year, is a highlight of the Manx social and business calendars

It recognises outstanding leaders and initiatives across 16 categories as diverse as Education and Learning, Sustainability, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Health and Wellbeing.

Its most prestigious accolade is the Lifetime Achievement Award which this year went to dedicated RNLI volunteer Richard Leigh. Richard was recently recognised by the RNLI with a Bronze Medal for Gallantry, for his role in rescuing three casualties from a stricken yacht in rough seas and demanding circumstances.

This was the first time in Port St Mary RNLI’s history that a gallantry medal was awarded. When he’s not volunteering as part of the inshore lifeboat crew, Richard is a teacher specialising in caring for children with complex needs and has dedicated 25 years of service to Port St Mary Lifeboat Station.

The evening was hosted by Monty Halls, well-known marine biologist, author, filmmaker and keen RNLI supporter. He praised the work of the charity which was founded in 1824 by Sir William Hillary.

A resident of the Isle of Man, Hillary witnessed numerous shipwrecks along its coast and decided to take action to help prevent the tragic loss of life at sea.

The RNLI was the nominated charity for this year’s Awards for Excellence and more than 60 volunteers from the Island‘s five lifeboat stations were in the audience for the glittering event, held last Thursday evening (16 November).

Mark Wordsworth, an RNLI Trustee and Chair of the RNLI Bicentenary Steering Group, attended in the company of the Isle of Man’s Lieutenant Governor Sir John Lorimer.

Reflecting on the ceremony, Mark said:

‘It is rewarding to see how deeply the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers is valued by the Isle of Man, where the idea for the charity took root 200 years ago.

‘In celebrating this significant milestone, the RNLI across the British Isles and Ireland is remembering our remarkable history, celebrating the modern lifesaving service we provide today and looking forward to inspiring and welcoming a new generation of lifesavers and supporters.’

Allen Corlett, Chair of the RNLI Isle of Man 200th Anniversary Panel and Lifeboat Operations Manager at Peel Lifeboat said:

‘We are especially grateful to Media Isle of Man, and its Deputy Chair Trudi Williamson, for selecting the RNLI as the Awards’ official charity and giving our volunteers the opportunity to raise the organisation’s profile with the evening’s generous audience.

‘As we move into 2024, we look forward to celebrating the charity’s 200th Anniversary across the Isle of Man through a variety of activities including a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Sir William Hillary in January, and a year-long exhibition with Manx National Heritage at the House of Manannan.’


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