Queen's Award for Cefas Coastwatch Volunteer
10 July 2012
Cefas Deputy Operations and Business Manager, Carole Norrie, has
been awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service as
a member of the National Coastwatch Institution's
(NCI's) Portland Bill station in Dorset.
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is a great honour and
this one feels doubly special as it has awarded
in The Queen's Diamond Jubilee year.
Each NCI station is staffed by a team of fully trained and
dedicated volunteers who keep a daylight watch for up to 365 days a
Volunteer watchkeepers are the eyes and ears along the coast.
They keep a visual watch, monitor radio channels and radar,
and provide a listening watch in poor visibility. Surveillance work
is mainly routine but watchkeepers are trained to act in an
emergency and, if required, co-ordinate with the search and rescue
Carole has been a member of the Portland Bill NCI
station for nearly ten years. She said: "I keep watch from
07.00 to 11.00 every 2nd Sunday morning throughout the year. I am
also the station's H&S and Welfare Officer, so am on the
Management Committee. I also assist with routine fundraising,
attending events and generally rattling a tin."
The look-out at Portland Bill is staffed from 07.00 to 19.00 in
the summer, and for a slightly shorter time during the
winter months (December to February). Stations are equipped
with telescopes, radar, telephone and weather instrumentation as
well as up-to-date charts.
Former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE, Chair of the
Voluntary Service Award Committee, said:
"In this Diamond Jubilee Year the judges have been hugely
impressed by the many imaginative ways that volunteers are coming
together to help build and sustain the fabric of our society. They
are proof that in these difficult times the community spirit is
alive and well right across the UK."
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service isn't the first
time the station has had a "brush" with royalty. The Portland Bill
team were able to display their skills during the rescue of a yacht
at the very time that HRH Princess Anne was visiting the
Though the Portland Bill station received the good news early in
June, the day of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration, the NCI
team will officially receive their Award in early August when the
main Olympic sailing events will be held in Weymouth and
Portland. Princess Anne will again visit the Portland Bill station
to confer the honour, on behalf of The Queen.
In the meantime, Carole and the rest of the Portland Bill NCI
team will have their eyes and ears trained on the waters round
Portland Bill, when many more sailing craft and other vessels
are expected to visit the area during the Olympics.
- The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service was created to
mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002, recognising outstanding
contributions by groups of volunteers. For a voluntary group, it is
the equivalent of getting an MBE.
- The Cefas Connects initiative supports staff in sharing
their time and skills to make a worthwhile contribution to the
local community and beyond. The agency particularly favours
initiatives that align with its remit:
- supporting those who work with, or
on the sea
- conservation activities
- communicating science to wider
See this news
item for more examples of
- By the end of 2010 NCI volunteers completed a total of
over 190,000 hours' watchkeeping, identifying and logging over
462,000 vessels. To find out more about what watchkeepers do and
how to volunteer, visit http://www.nci.org.uk/node/203.
Story updated on 13 July with additional
information about when the honour will be officially