In an emergency call 999 and ask for the Coastguard Whitstable@rnli.org.uk

Two members of the Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station fundraising branch have been recognised for the services to the station and the RNLI with the presentation of the Chief Executive’s Award for Excellence in Volunteering.

John and Julia Hill of Herne Bay have been involved with the station fundraising activities since 2007 by helping to staff the station souvenir shop and café, manning stalls at outside events and holding fund-raising garden parties and coffee mornings at their home in Herne Bay.

But more recently John, a retired draughtsman from the aircraft industry, took over managing the station shop on the untimely death of Diane Lamberton, the then Chairman of the fundraising team in 2017 and, helped by Julia, a retired accountants assistant the pair, supported by fellow fundraising team volunteers have maintained the shop and café profile not only locally but within the RNLI bringing in essential funds in support of the Whitstable Lifeboat.

Speaking at a presentation held in the boathouse on Wednesday, Tatty McNally, Visitor Experience Manager for the RNLI in making the presentation to John and Julia quoted the inscription on the Chief Executive Award certificate “The Chairman and Council of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution wish to record their sincere thanks to John and Julia Hill In recognition of the dedicated support you have provided to the Whitstable shop”.

“Since John took on the role of shop manager you have overcome challenging circumstances to create a well-managed thriving shop and café achieving a 20% increase in profits in the first year alone”.

“Ready to embrace new ideas and innovative in approach, your tireless efforts are appreciated by all. Additionally, your fundraising garden parties and souvenir selling visits have helped raise vital funds. Your invaluable contribution over the years has helped the RNLI to continue to save lives at sea”.