South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade receives further boost in recognition of pandemic work with £1,000 donation

A paints manufacturer has donated £1,000 to the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade in recognition of the emergency rescue support work undertaken by the group over the pandemic months.

Azko Nobel, of Felling, Gateshead, awarded the money after one of its employees, Jamie Tiffin, a brigade volunteer, had nominated the South Tyneside group for the firm’s community fund.

According to the company, the Azko Nobel Community Fund “supports individuals and charities who are looking for help and support to improve either their own situation or that of others”.

“We are delighted to provide vital help to South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade and in turn help many families in times of need throughout the Covid-19 pandemic,” said James Kavanagh, the firm’s regional commercial manager.

The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade has received further recognition of its hard work over the pandemic months with a £1,000 cash boost.

The borough organisation thanked Azko Nobel for what the group said was a “very generous donation”.

“We are greatly appreciative of this very generous donation from Azko Nobel,” Tom Fennelly, the brigade’s honorary secretary, said.

"It is even more significant coming at a time when our own fundraising capabilities have been severely curtailed and demand for our service has been higher than ever.

"Since the beginning of 2021 we have answered 96 emergency call-outs in conjunction with HM Coastguard and other emergency services to deal with search and rescue incidents mainly along the coast.

“Throughout the pandemic we have been on call 24/7 to help those in need.”

The award follows a separate honour bestowed on the Volunteer Life Brigade service in 2021.

In June, the organisation was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of “outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities”.

The honour also includes a special designation for providing high-impact support to the community during the pandemic months - either by successfully managing a significant increase in their usual work or by providing additional support in other ways.

At a special presentation event set to take place on Tuesday, November 2, will see Susan Winfield, Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, formally present the Volunteer Life Brigade with a glass crystal award in recognition of its hard work during the Covid period.

Members will also receive a special badge at the ceremony.

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