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Community / Bella honoured after retiring from lifeboat guild

Committee members of Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild and RNLI Lerwick lifeboat crew joined Bella Irvine (seated) on Tuesday. Photo: RNLI

A VOLUNTEER fundraiser for the Lerwick Lifeboat described as “one in a million” has retired from her role after 38 years of service.

Bella Irvine began volunteering with the Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild in 1982.

On Tuesday members of the guild and lifeboat crew met to pay tribute to Bella’s service.

The Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild raises funds go to towards the operational costs of the Lerwick Lifeboat.

It organises a number of events, such as the lifeboat open day and the lifeboat ball.

Committee members also attend country shows to generate more income and raise the profile of the RNLI.

In 2019, the Lerwick Lifeboat Guild, including funds raised by the men’s committee, raised more than £44,000.

After ten years with the guild Bella became treasurer for 23 years. In 2016 she received an RNLI gold badge and bar to mark her service.

Joint chairperson of the Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild and current treasurer Rhoda Watt said: “Bella has been absolutely dedicated beyond measure and will be missed on our committee. She’s one in a million and will always be welcome in our shop, where she will always find the kettle on.”

RNLI Lerwick Lifeboat operations manager Malcolm Craigie added: “The RNLI relies on dedicated fundraisers across the country to provide equipment and training for our volunteer crews, so that we’re ready to respond 24 hours a day.

“On behalf of the lifeboat crew we’re hugely grateful to Bella for everything she has done for the Lerwick Lifeboat Guild over the last 38 years.”