27 Sept 2022

Tipperary volunteer with Lough Derg RNLI is honoured for her fundraising work

Tipperary volunteer with Lough Derg RNLI is honoured for her fundraising work

Laura Clarke of Lough Derg RNLI: honoured for her fundraising work

Lough Derg RNLI fundraising volunteer Laura Clarke has been presented with an Excellence in Volunteering Award.

Laura, who has been a volunteer on the fundraising committee, for 11 years, received her award from Jennifer Grey, RNLI community manager.

Laura said that she became a volunteer because the “charity was one my late father loved and always supported. It was something I wished to continue”.

She recalled that Mr Crawford had donated to Portrush RNLI lifeboat station for the build of their new lifeboat. In 2019, Laura organised a fundraising swim in memory of her father that raised significant funds for the RNLI.

As well as a long family association with the lifeboats, Laura’s husband Caleb is honourary treasurer for Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat station and the fundraising committee, and her brother-in-law, Peter Clarke, was volunteer helm with the station for 14 years.

In commending Laura for the award, Jayne George, RNLI director of fundraising wrote: “Your productive, innovative and reliable attitude has not only optimised our fundraising opportunities at local events but throughout the pandemic has raised more than £2,000 in Christmas card and gift sales alone.”

This is an extraordinary achievement, as the pandemic has meant that the charity, funded entirely by public donations and legacies, has been unable to fundraise in the usual ways.

Of Laura’s hard work throughout these difficult past two years, Ms George said that Laura’s enthusiasm and dedication “embodies the RNLI core values of being courageous, trustworthy, selfless and dependable”.

Laura said that it was a “great honour to be a part of an organisation that is such a force for good in the world. I’m thrilled to receive this award.”

Niamh McCutcheon, chair of the Lough Derg RNLI fundraising branch and member of the Irish Council of the RNLI, said that she was “delighted to see Laura’s commitment, dedication and significant efforts acknowledged”.

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