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Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

By Garry McCartney

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(From left) Senior coxswain Simon Paterson, Lord Lieutenant of Moray, Major General Seymour Monro, MIRO secretary Keith Parker, crew member Steve Leslie and MIRO chairman John Low. Picture by Morven Mackenzie.
(From left) Senior coxswain Simon Paterson, Lord Lieutenant of Moray, Major General Seymour Monro, MIRO secretary Keith Parker, crew member Steve Leslie and MIRO chairman John Low. Picture by Morven Mackenzie.

A TEAM of lifesavers based in Findhorn have been honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation (MIRO), are to be presented with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and regarded as the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for voluntary organisations.

MIRO representatives will receive the award from Major General Seymour Monro CBE LVO, Lord Lieutenant of Moray later this summer - two of the volunteers will also attend a garden party at Holyroodhouse in July 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s award.

Major General Seymour Monro, said: "This is wonderful news and so richly deserved. It is remarkable that such a vital rescue service is all volunteer and supported largely by fundraising efforts.

"I salute the courage and endeavours of all those who have saved lives and kept others safe over the past 15 years. Findhorn has always been a favourite place of ours and I am delighted to say: Many congratulations to everyone in MIRO past and present!"

MIRO was formed in July 2005 in response to a real need for a dedicated rescue service to cover Findhorn bay and its approaches. MIRO also covers the inshore waters of the Moray Firth between Burghead and Nairn, working closely with HM Coastguard and RNLI.

In August 2007 MIRO was named by the Maritime Coastguard Agency as a declared facility and began operating its fully dedicated service with volunteers on call 24/7.

MIRO is manned entirely by unpaid volunteers who give up their time to train, raise funds and save lives.

MIRO is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups throughout the UK - and the only one in Moray - to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

MIRO chairman, John Low, said: "I am absolutely delighted that MIRO’s work to protect and save lives by providing and maintaining our inshore rescue facility in Findhorn Bay has been recognised with this Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

"I would like to stress how proud I am of our MIRO crew and shore support volunteers who give up their time to train and attend incidents day and night throughout the year. I thank them sincerely for their contribution to rescuing people in difficulty and saving lives.

"I would also like to pay tribute to former MIRO volunteers who worked tirelessly to establish the service, to my fellow directors for their hard work and ongoing commitment to MIRO and to our many supporters in Findhorn and beyond for their generous donations, without which we would not be able to maintain this essential service."

Fundraising for MIRO is ongoing throughout the year. Anyone can raise funds for MIRO by shopping on Amazon Smile and selecting Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation as the charity to benefit from Amazon donations every time they shop.

MIRO is also registered with Virgin Money Giving making it easy to donate on-line by logging on to Virgin Money Giving and searching for MIRO.

Find out more about MIRO at www.morayinshorerescue.org

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