A Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteer from Redcar was one of more than 50 dedicated supporters of the lifesaving charity honoured at its regional awards ceremony at York Racecourse on Sunday (28 June).
Dave Holgate, a member of the Redcar lifeboat station, was awarded a bar to his Gold Medal. He has been volunteering for the RNLI since 1984 as a deputy launching authority, playing a vital role in approving the launch of lifeboats at Redcar.
The awards were presented by RNLI Chairman Charles Hunter-Pease, who praised the dedication and commitment of the charity’s volunteers and told the awardees the ceremony was ‘a celebration of the difference that you have all made to the lives of others.’
He added: ‘At our 33 lifeboat stations here in the north of England, our volunteers launched over 1,000 times in 2014, while our lifeguards helped over 2,300 people.
It all adds up to an extraordinary achievement for our lifesavers – and a life-changing moment for every single person they brought to safety.
‘Meanwhile our fundraisers in the UK and Ireland made a massive contribution of their own – £58 million in fundraised voluntary income last year. Our incredibly supportive donors parted with their own money to support and save people they will probably never meet. And our dedicated volunteers gave up their time to raise awareness, raise funds and head to the rescue.’
Dave Holgate said: ‘I was absolutely thrilled to receive the bar to my RNLI Gold Badge at the ceremony in York and had a wonderful day. It was a great honour, although like all RNLI volunteers I don’t expect recognition or awards for the fundraising work I do. It’s been a privilege to be part of the team at Redcar lifeboat station.’
At the ceremony, Hannah Brankling, RNLI Area Manager, said: ‘David has provided invaluable support and, on occasion, guidance to a number of station honorary secretaries and lifeboat operations managers in his long period of volunteering at Redcar lifeboat station.
‘His professional maritime background, excellent local knowledge and no-nonsense approach has been a huge asset to Redcar lifeboat station, ever ready to offer advice he is held in high regard by the volunteer crew and station officials.’