Burnham-On-Sea’s MP David Heathcoat-Amory was in town on Friday evening (May 15th) to present several awards at the AGM of hovercraft rescue charity BARB.

The MP joined almost 50 people at the Town Council Chambers in Jaycroft Road, where he heard about a busy year of rescues, fundraising activities and special visits for the Burnham charity.

He presented the Heathcoat-Amory Telescope Award to BARB Operations Manager Steve Perks, after he was deemed to have contributed most significantly to the welfare of the organisation over the past year.

The MP told the audience: “I am a great admirer and supporter of BARB. We have a stretch of coastline that can be quite dangerous with its huge tidal range and large stretches of mud and sand. Having a hovercraft here is essential, and the work of BARB is therefore much appreciated.”

Kerry Rickards, the Chief Executive of Sedgemoor District Council, also attended the meeting as a special guest and presented several certificates to the charity’s fundraisers with BARB President Neville Jones and BARB Chairman Mark Newman.

Those receiving certificates included Brean’s Diamond Farm, the Chevron Country Music Club, the Caravan Club, Oliver’s Angling in Clevedon and Katie Florey (pictured), a local youngster who has helped with fundraising.

Before the meeting, Mr Rickards was given a tour of the BARB, RNLI and Coastguard stations, where he met crewmembers and discussed their work.

Kerry said: “I was very honoured to be invited along as a special guest – it’s impressive to see the rescues that BARB have dealt with.”

Kerry Rickards, the Chief Executive of Sedgemoor District Council, and his partner Suzanne were given a tour of the BARB hovercraft station

Burnham’s Deputy Mayor Danny Titcombe was also at Friday’s meeting, and is pictured here congratulating BARB’s new Deputy Operations Manager Graham Hallsworth

Kerry Rickards and his partner with Burnham Coastguard Robin Hewlett

Burnham RNLI helmsman Glenn Cutter with Kerry Rickards and his partner