Penarth RNLI volunteer represents women in search and rescue in historic moment

Penarth RNLI volunteer given honour of carrying Sir William Hillary’s Appeal to the Nation that founded the RNLI at Westminster Thanksgiving Service.

On Monday 4 March at Westminster Abbey, volunteers from Penarth RNLI attended the RNLI’s special Service of Thanksgiving to mark the charity’s bicentenary, along with representatives from RNLI lifesaving communities.  RNLI women across various roles came together outside Westminster Abbey to represent RNLI women across the charity’s 200th anniversary.

There was a display of historic and modern lifeboats, and also in attendance was The Archbishop of Canterbury and The Duke of Kent leading the celebrations, as well as Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, husband of The Princess Royal.

The Penarth RNLI volunteers were Jen Payne (Helm), Neil Cunningham (Water Safety Advisor) and Nick White (Local Press Officer). Jen was absolutely thrilled to be asked to be involved with the ceremonies and expressed her delight saying:

‘It was an honour to meet The Duke of Kent. It was a humbling experience and to be surrounded by so many selfless volunteers made it even more special.

‘I could really feel the weight of the event, the importance of the moment and the majesty of the venue. All very fitting for the RNLI’s 200th year celebration.

‘It’s incredible to think how far the RNLI have come from oar-powered lifeboats to the modern lifesaving boats we use today. We are looking forward to the next 200 years building a sustainable and inclusive organisation which is driven by people with the skills, dedication, bravery and commitment to take this incredible lifesaving organisation into the future.’

Jen, who is a Helm on Penarth’s inshore lifeboat, stood outside the Abbey to represent the women volunteers who came before, celebrate the women volunteers of today and inspire the next generation.

The photo taken celebrates the remarkable women lifesavers across RNLI roles against the backdrop of Westminster Abbey.

RNLI women across various roles came together outside Westminster Abbey to represent RNLI women across the charity’s 200th anniversary.

To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:https://www.facebook.com/RNLIPenarth

Image credit: RNLI/Nathan Williams

Caption: Left to right: Karen Stewart (Lochinver fundraising), Jen Payne (Penarth), Aine Flynn (Ballycotton), Janet Legrand OBE KC (RNLI Chair), Nelly Gallichan Jersey lifeguards), Jayne George (RNLI Fundraising Director).