Morecambe grandma is thanked for loyal volunteering

Elsie behind the counter in the shop with her framed letter of thanks.
Elsie behind the counter in the shop with her framed letter of thanks.

For nearly twenty years a dedicated grandma has spent her twilight years doing what she does best – volunteering.

Just four days after celebrating her 90th birthday, Elsie Bell, BEM, was back behind the counter in Morecambe’s

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat shop.

Mrs Bell, who volunteered with the Sea Cadets for many years until she retired, has worked in the lifeboat shop since it opened in 1998.

“You have to do something, it was the way I was brought up and enjoy it,” said the loyal volunteer fundraiser.

Elsie was presented with a framed letter of thanks from the RNLI’s chief executive, Paul Boissier.

“Elsie’s dedication is an exceptional example of the contribution our fundraisers make to the lifesaving work of our organisation,” said Colin Midwinter, Morecambe RNLI volunteer Deputy Launching Authority.

“Much is said and written about lifeboat crews but, at the end of the day, without the support of people like Elsie, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

“Their importance to the lifesaving work of our charity cannot be over-estimated.”

Anyone who might be considering joining Elsie and her colleagues in one of Morecambe’s two lifeboat shops can contact volunteer shop manager Jennifer Kay via email at to arrange an informal chat.

Morecambe Life Boat Station recently celebrated 50 years and has received 11 awards for gallantry.

The first RNLI rescue hovercraft was placed on service in 2002 and is now one of only four stations operating a hovercraft alongside conventional lifeboats.

The station is located on Marine Road Central, to find out more call 01524 410317.

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea.

Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the UK and Republic of Ireland coasts.

The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 100 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK.

The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.

Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 137,000 lives. Visit for more.