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Maritime charity honours long-serving volunteers. Three outstanding volunteers have been honoured for their outstanding service by national maritime charity, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

Janice Wilkinson, a Divisional Manager for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) in Tyneside and long-serving Honorary Agent for the Society has been awarded the Society’s prestigious Lord Lewin award for outstanding service to the charity, along with volunteering siblings William Jolly and Elizabeth Johnson. The siblings – known as Billy and Liz – from Kirkwall, Scotland have been volunteering together for the Society for the past 27 years.

As Divisional Manager for the SSAFA, Janice Wilkinson’s primary responsibility is to cover the North Tyneside region, but her level of commitment also sees her take responsibility for South Tyneside too, coordinating more than 40 applications for support each year on the Society’s behalf. The Society recognised Janice’s dedication to her role with her applications clearly demonstrating her unfailing commitment to those requiring support, carefully presenting the underlying context of each case, and showing clear compassion and understanding for each individual.

Siblings Billy and Liz follow in the footsteps of their father, William Jolly Snr, who also served as Kirkwall’s Honorary Agent from 1954 until 1993, with the pair taking over his duties in 1993. In total, the family have been supporting the charity and its work for an incredible 66 years. Billy and Liz have been dedicated and enthusiastic supporters of the Society for the last 27 years, raising more than £5,000 for the Society and plan for Liz’s daughter to take over the family’s longstanding dedication to the charity once the time is right.

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Captain Justin Osmond RN, said:

“As exceptionally committed and long-term supporters of the Society, Billy, Liz and Janice are thoroughly deserving of special recognition for their outstanding efforts.

“The fact stands that we could not operate as a charity without the support of our volunteers up and down the country, so it is an absolute privilege to be able to show our special appreciation to Billy, Liz and Janice, who dedicate so much time and effort to support seafarers in need.”

Since 1839, the Society has helped hundreds of thousands of mariners, and their dependants, through times of hardship and conflict. The maritime charity is dedicated to making a positive difference to the lives of these individuals, through both financial and practical support. The charity continues to provide help to thousands of individuals each year by offering financial and practical support to those in need and this year launched a £1m Covid-19 support fund to further help seafarers in need affected by the pandemic.

To find out more information about the charity, visit www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk, www.facebook.com/shipwreckedmariners or follow @ShipwreckedSoc on Twitter.