Maria Caulfield, Member of Parliament for Lewes, has welcomed the news that the Newhaven branch of the National Coastwatch Insitution (NCI) have been awarded the King’s Award for keeping watch along our coastline and inshore waters to ensure public safety.
NCI Newhaven is one of 262 organisations across the UK that have been awarded the first ever King’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to local volunteer groups in recognition of their outstanding community service.
Formerly known as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the award was established in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. It is equivalent to an MBE and is the highest honour awarded to voluntary groups.
Awarded annually to some of the UK’s most inspiring volunteer-led groups for their charitable endeavours, this year 227 organisations from England, 20 from Scotland, six from Wales and nine from Northern Ireland have received the first ever King’s Award.
NCI Newhaven are uniquely trained volunteer watchkeepers who carry-out safety watches over the beaches, cliffs and inshore waters around Newhaven and Seaford from their lookout 365 days a year. When danger to life is spotted they inform HM Coastguard who then often task the RNLI Lifeboat or their own rescue teams.
The team at Newhaven have provided over 19 years of continuous community service without a single day of watchkeeping missed, except during the initial compulsory eight-week Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
Maria Caulfield MP said:
“I am very pleased that the fantastic team at NCI Newhaven have been recognised with a King’s Award, this is the highest honour that a voluntary group can receive and this is fully deserved by all those who volunteer at NCI Newhaven to keep us safe at sea.
As the MP representing Newhaven, I wrote a letter of support for them to be considered for the award and I am glad to see that they have been recognised for their years of dedicated service”