MBE award for charity worker

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AN INSPIRATIONAL fundraiser for Filey RNLI has been honoured by the Queen for her tireless efforts for the charity.

Val Nixon, 60, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours after 43 years service with the charity, raising millions of pounds.

She started work for the charity when she left school at the age of 16, until her retirement last year, and in turn became the second-longest serving member of staff in the RNLI’s 187-year history.

On hearing news of the honour, she said she was delighted but ‘a little embarrassed’ to be receiving an MBE.

She added: ‘The MBE was a lovely surprise and it really is a great honour, but the people who deserve recognition are the RNLI’s brave volunteer crews who go out to sea in all weather to rescue total strangers. My job was just to make sure the charity had the funds in place to provide the lifeboatmen and women with the equipment and training they needed to carry out their role.

“I had no idea when I joined the RNLI at the age of 16 that I would still be there more than 40 years later but it just got into my blood and became such a big part of my life. I have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people and made some great friends. I loved the variety of the work and the dedication of both the volunteers and staff. I was sad when I retired but the RNLI is still a part of my life, and probably always will be.”

Val joined the RNLI straight from school in 1967 at the charity’s regional office in York for what she thought would be a temporary, three-month stint as office junior. However, she never left and within three years was running the office.

She was a regular fixture at the Filey Lifeboat Station with her role as senior fundraising manager for East and West Yorkshire, organising several major fundraising events.

A presentation was made to her on her retirement in Filey, and she was guest of honour at the opening of the 2011 Filey Lifeboat weekend.

Filey Lifeboat chairman David Wilson, who nominated Val for the award back in 2009, said: “‘All members of Filey Lifeboat Station wish to congratulate Val on being awarded an MBE, an award that she truly deserves.”