By Lee Heard, Director for People, Partnerships and Membership

It is my pleasure to step in as a guest for this month’s blog, to sum up this year’s national Honours ceremony.

Last Saturday, 19 October, at the magnificent Worcester Cathedral, RLSS UK hosted its annual Honours ceremony. This is one of the leading and arguably, one of the most important events in RLSS UK’s calendar; many of our thousands of volunteers are recognised for their outstanding contributions to helping keep people safe, in and around water. I have to pinch myself that I have the opportunity to meet all of these great individuals on stage, as they collect their awards.

It is a truly wonderful event - seeing so many like-minded ‘lifesavers’ being celebrated for their valuable contribution in “helping to save lives each and every day.” A point summed up beautifully by Ellie Prail, this year’s Young Leader recipient in her ‘Vote of Thanks’.

Newly inaugurated RLSS UK President, Mark Smith, addressed the audience with his vision for his three-year Presidency and alongside CEO Robert Gofton, congratulated the award recipients. Everyone receiving an award, whether it be for acknowledgement of service (some as high as 50 years!), for meritorious activity or for exceptional activity recognised through a special award, were welcomed to the stage to the sound of great applause from the audience.

In addition, former RLSS UK President Ken White, gave an extremely heart-warming tribute to the two strangers that saved his own life earlier this year. This amazing act shows how very important it is for each and every person to learn CPR and to know what to do, should they need to help someone in difficulty or an emergency.

We would like to thank everyone who made Saturday’s ceremony so special and celebrate each and every person, who commits their valuable time to take part in RLSS UK activity.

Your commitment and dedication is what makes this organisation so special.

As we look ahead to 2020, we continue to commit to improving to our approach to the recognition process, ensuring all that are deserving, are honoured.

We would love to see even more of you at next year’s ceremony, on Saturday 17 October.