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Lifeboat fundraiser recognised in New Year Honours
AN 83-year-old fundraiser has been recognised in the New Year Honours List for her tireless work for a lifeboat charity.
Diana Spokes from Chapman Lane in Bourne End was awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to Maritime Safety.
Mrs Spokes said she was "extremely honoured" to be recognised.
She is chairman of the Bourne End Fundraising Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
Last year alone she helped raise more than £20,000 but has been chairman since 1999 and before that a committee member since 1977.
Mrs Spokes, who has a daughter Rose, 58, said: "I couldn't have done that without help from a lot of supporters and helpers and collectors and my husband, John, does a lot of work with me as well."
She said she finds the work the charity do very important.
RNLI has saved more than 140,000 lives since it was founded in 1824 and provides a 24 hour lifeboat search and rescue service.
Mrs Spokes said: "98 per cent of the money that is raised goes straight to lifeboats. Only two per cent goes to paid staff in Poole.
"The lifeboat men are all volunteers except the chief engineer who is on call 24 hours a day.
"Apart from that they are all volunteers. They have other jobs but they down their tools, whatever the weather and whatever the time of day, and go out on the lifeboats. They have saved thousands of lives over the years."
Mrs Spokes said she would like to carry on fundraising for as long as she can.