DOZENS of people celebrated BARB Search and Rescue’s achievements and reflected on the previous year at their annual general meeting.

On Friday (June 14) volunteers from the Burnham-on-Sea based rescue service met at Burnham and Highbridge Town Council’s chambers in Jaycroft Road and reviewed a busy year of call-outs and fundraising.

Burnham and Highbridge Mayor Cllr Andy Brewer, Sedgemoor District Council Chairman Cllr Peter Clayton and Burnham’s former MP Tessa Munt were among the special guests who thanked BARB’s volunteers for their work in keeping the coastline safe.

Tony Winterburn, a BARB boat house trustee since the launch of the charity 27 years ago, was the speaker for the evening who gave a humbling talk on his recollections of being a D-Day veteran and helping to land troops in Normandy in 1944.

Tony, 93, received a standing ovation at the end of his moving talk, which less than a week after the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The Neville Jones Shield, named after BARB’s late founder and presented to BARB’s volunteer of the year, was presented by current President Roger Flower to the charity’s fundraising officer Craig Dunbar to commend his hard work in organising events over the last year.

Certificates were also presented to some of the charity’s key fundraisers including Burnham’s Trinity Close residents who raised more than £7,000 last Christmas for BARB with their festive Christmas lights display.

Burnham’s GW Hurleys newsagent was named as the business which had collected the most for the charity with its collection pots in the last year.

BARB’s chairman, Mark Newman, thanked the charity’s fundraisers, crew and supporters for their dedication, with the volunteers giving up more than 5,000 hours of time for the charity.

The charity’s operations manager, Mike Lowe, also thanked BARB’s team for their commitment and for working closely with Burnham Coastguards, the RNLI, police and other local services while attending 50 call-outs last year and 28 incidents so far in 2019.