Sidmouth trio land RNLI gongs

Charity says thanks for decades of service

A TRIO of dedicated Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) supporters from Sidmouth were handed awards for their decades of hard work.

Long-serving volunteers Dr Andy Ridler and Nigel and Beryl Ruddle, of the Sidmouth and District RNLI Fundraising Branch, have backed the lifesaving charity for a combined total of more than 75 years.

Dr Ridler Branch was one of just nine gold badge recipients. He has supported the RNLI for more than half a century.

The former keen sailor, who grew up by the coast, said: “I have strong family ties to the RNLI, as well as being a crew member at Bude Lifeboat Station, my father was also president of the Bude RNLI in the 1960’s and I used to help my mother collect as a child.

“Some of my best memories of my time with the RNLI are the parties and fundraising events over the years.”

Mr and Mrs Ruddle, who have supported the RNLI for more than 25 years, were two of 20 silver badge recipients.

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They were ‘delighted’ with their accolades.

The three Sidmouth residents were among 67 people from across the South West to be honoured for their hard work and dedication during a presentation ceremony at the charity’s Lifeboat College in Poole.

RNLI’S Donna Robson said: “This is a very special occasion to acknowledge the enormous contribution given by so many people over so many years.

“If it wasn’t for our dedicated fundraising volunteers, RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards would not be able to do their lifesaving work.

The awards are thoroughly deserved and enabled us to show all the volunteers how much their hard work is appreciated.”

Dr Andy Ridler and Mr and Mrs Ruddle were presented their badges by Mark Criddle, coxswain of the Torbay RNLI lifeboat.