Family honoured for work at RNLI

A family of volunteers have been honoured as local heroes for collectively dedicating more than 150 years to Newbiggin RNLI lifeboat.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 7:50 am
From left: Richard Martin, Barbara Martin, Councillor Liz Simpson and Tim Martin beside the Mary Joicey at Newbiggin Maritime Centre

Husband and wife, Tim and Barbara Martin and their son, Richard, were honoured by Northumberland County Council for spending years supporting the lifeboat and the wider community.

Tim, 83, has dedicated 57 years to the RNLI as a former lifeboat Second Mechanic as well as Deputy Launching Authority and now as the Boathouse Manager.

Barbara, 82, has volunteered 52 years to the lifeboat and is currently the president of Newbiggin Ladies Lifeboat Guild fund-raising team.

Richard, who after growing up around the boathouse, decided to follow in his parents footsteps and joined the team more than 42 years ago.

The family support their local RNLI operationally as well as fundraising at local community events plus have spent hours restoring the Mary Joicey lifeboat and helped to develop the Newbiggin Maritime Centre.

The family are now restoring the town’s Rocket House, originally built in 1866 to house life saving apparatus.

Coun Liz Simpson, deputy business chair at the council, said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to thank and congratulate Tim, Barbara and Richard for their incredible work.

“The Local Heroes awards recognise the special people in our local community who go above and beyond to make a real difference and give us a chance to say a big thank you for all that they do.”

“It is thanks to the hard work of families like the Martins that help our communities to thrive. Their kind hearted dedication is really honourable and they’re each very deserving of these awards.”

The family received their awards at Newbiggin Maritime Centre, less than half a mile away from the Newbiggin lifeboat house which has been a part of the community since 1851.

Barbara, who was born in Newbiggin, said: “We’re really taken aback and very grateful to be named as local heroes.

“Through our years of volunteering we have met lots of great people and made lots of memories. We love our local community and that’s why we try and do as much as we can to make sure everyone else enjoys it too.”

If you know someone who goes out of their way to help others or inspires you with their dedication to improving your local area, you can nominate them for a Local Heroes award.

To find out more or to fill in a nomination form visit