Top UK honour for Boats Club

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Volunteers at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther are celebrating a highly prestigious award.

The Boats Club at the top local visitor attraction was announced as one of 130 winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for groups of volunteers who work in their community for the benefit of others.

The club has received the accolade for the work of its volunteers over 25 years in conserving and crewing the Museum’s fleet of historic boats, and helping to maintain the fishing culture in coastal communities through educational and fund-raising activities.

The sought-after UK honour recognises outstanding voluntary contributions and sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, with the work of those awarded being judged of the highest standard.

The Boats Club was among those selected from over 400 groups nominated by members of the public who have been helped personally or witnessed the benefits of a group’s work in their community.

Crewmen received a certificate signed by The Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, presented by Her Majesty’s representative in Fife, Lord Lieutenant Margaret Dean, above, at a special ceremony on board The Reaper.

The group has also received an invitation for representatives to attend a Royal Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the summer.

John Firn, from the Boats Club said: “We are both honoured and pleased to have received the Queen’s Award ,which reflects the amazing contributions made by all the club’s volunteers over the past 25 years.”

Awards committee chairman, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE, said: “Volunteer groups make such an important contribution to their communities, often without praise for the incredible job they do.

“It’s a pleasure to celebrate the achievements of the Scottish Fisheries Museum Boats Club with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and give official recognition for the benefits they bring to others’ lives.”