A NEW fundraising chairman said he hopes to work with volunteers at Burnham-on-Sea RNLI to help raise funds to save lives at sea.

Les Blake started his career in the RNLI some 40 years ago when his father asked him to help collection donations.

He has worked as a volunteer at Burnham RNLI's gift shop for the last three years and is also a volunteer at West Somerset Railway.

Les said he s excited to take on his new role and work with volunteers to raise funds.

He said: "I started my RNLI career some 40 years ago when my Dad asked me to help with a collection.

"He had volunteered with the RNLI for a while and became chairman of Surbiton Branch in South West London.

"He held this post for many years and was awarded the gold badge of the institution.

"Some time later he was awarded the MBE for services to the charity. An awful lot to look up to.

"I moved to Somerset from Sussex via London four years ago when I finally retired from Crystal Palace Football Club where I was part of the safety team.

"Three years ago I started to volunteer in the Burnham-on-Sea RNLI gift shop.

"A role which is really enjoyable.

"I also volunteer at the West Somerset Railway.

"I look forward to meeting all the fundraising volunteers so I can pick their brains for ideas to continue the great work of the RNLI in Burnham-on-Sea and beyond."

A spokesperson for Burnham-on-Sea RNLI, said: "We wish Les all the best in his new role as fundraising chairman and look forward to a new year of fundraising for our lifeboat so we can continue to save lives at sea."

For more information about Burnham-on-Sea RNLI visit www.burnham-on-searnli.org.uk/