Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue has today (Monday) been named as a recipient of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2014, a prestigious national honour.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was first launched in 2002 by Her Majesty to mark the Golden Jubilee to recognise the outstanding contributions made by groups of volunteers to local communities. It has an equivalent status for voluntary groups as the MBE has for individuals.

The names of the 111 groups across the UK that have won this year’s awards have been announced today to coincide with the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

BARB has received its award in recognition of its flood relief work across Somerset and also operating its two life-saving rescue hovercrafts and inshore rescue boat, which are run by a dedicated team of over 20 volunteers.

The award is given ‘for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service’.

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 for our charity is fantastic and we are exceptionally proud.”

BARB Chairman Mark Newman added: “The award is wonderful recognition for all the time and commitment that BARB’s many volunteers have put in during the charity’s 22-year history – this award is dedicated to them.”

BARB will receive a certificate signed by The Queen and a commemorative crystal award for display at the charity’s station on The Esplanade. The award will be presented on behalf of The Queen by Somerset’s Lord-Lieutenant later in the year.

The charity’s volunteers with Mayor Martin Cox at the recent BARB AGM

BARB’s inshore rescue boat volunteers helping in the flood relief efforts

Official BARB Search & Rescue Web site