An RNLI fundraising volunteer has been presented with an Excellence in Volunteering Award by Jennifer Grey, RNLI Community Manager.
Laura Clarke, was presented with her award at the annual Christmas card and gift sale and coffee morning this week, at Lough Derg Yacht Club.
Laura has been a volunteer on the Lough Derg RNLI Fundraising Committee for eleven years. Laura says that she became a volunteer because the ‘charity was one my late father loved and always supported, and it was something I wished to continue’. Laura recalled that Mr. Crawford had donated to Portrush RNLI lifeboat station for the build of their new lifeboat. In 2019 Laura organised a fundraising swim in memory of her father that raised significant funds for the RNLI.
As well as a long family association with the lifeboats, Laura’s husband Caleb is Honourary Treasurer for both Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Station and the Fundraising Committee, and her brother-in-law, Peter Clarke, was volunteer helm with the station for fourteen years.
In commending Laura for the award, Jayne George, RNLI Director of Fundraising wrote ‘your productive, innovative and reliable attitude has not only optimised our fundraising opportunities at local events but throughout the pandemic has raised more than £2,000 in Christmas card and gift sales alone.’ This is an extraordinary achievement, as the pandemic has meant that the charity, funded entirely by public donations and legacies, has been unable to fundraise in the usual ways.
Of Laura’s hard work throughout these difficult past two years, Jayne George said that Laura’s enthusiasm and dedication ‘embodies the RNLI core values of being courageous, trustworthy, selfless and dependable’.
Laura says it is a ‘great honour to be a part of an organisation that is such a force for good in the world. I’m thrilled to receive this award’.
Niamh McCutcheon, Chairperson of the Lough Derg RNLI Fundraising branch and member of the Irish Council of the RNLI says that she is ‘delighted to see Laura’s commitment, dedication and significant efforts acknowledged with this award’.