Burnham flood volunteers recognised with Queen’s award

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 June 2014

Volunteers from Burnham Area Resue Boat helping to evacuate trapped residents during the Somerset Levels floods in February, for which the group has now received a Queen's Award. (Photo: Burnham-on-Sea.com)

Volunteers from Burnham Area Resue Boat helping to evacuate trapped residents during the Somerset Levels floods in February, for which the group has now received a Queen's Award. (Photo: Burnham-on-Sea.com)

Archant

A NATIONAL award has been given to a Burnham charity in recognition of its work during the Somerset floods earlier this year.

Burnham Area Rescue Boat (BARB) was named last week as one of 111 groups in the UK to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year, the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary organisations.

In February, volunteer crews from the charity assisted numerous people trapped in waterlogged villages to evacuate their homes as flood waters set in.

The group has been recognised for the work carried out by its two rescue hovercraft and inshore rescue boat, all of which are run by a team of more than 20 volunteers.

BARB operations manager Mike Lowe said: “It is a great honour to receive this award. BARB’s team of volunteers work exceptionally hard through sometimes very difficult and challenging environments and are prepared to do so at a moment’s notice.

“This recognition of our charity is fantastic and we are exceptionally proud.”

The award will be presented on behalf of the Queen by Somerset’s Lord Leuitenant later this year. The group will receive a certificate signed by Queen Elizabeth II alongside the commemorative crystal award, which will be displayed at the charity’s station on The Esplanade.

Another royal name, the Earl of Wessex, visited the station this week to hear about BARB’s work during the floods and plans for the future, which look set to include an expansion in the size of the Esplanade base. See this week’s Mercury for full coverage of the royal visit.

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