Findhorn Bay rescue team get Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

A group of volunteers based in Findhorn have been given The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation (MIRO) was formed in 2005 when it became apparent that there was 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.

The award is the highest accolade a voluntary group can receive in the UK and is regarded as the ‘MBE’ for such organisations.

MIRO is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups throughout the UK to receive the award this year and the only recipient in Moray. 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.

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. They work closely with HM Coastguard and RNLI.

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.”

Lord Lieutenant of Moray, 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!”

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 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, an environmental group in Swansea, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and a thriving community arts centre in County Down.

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

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