The RYA is boating’s national governing body and the Volunteer Awards are considered the ‘MBEs' of the sport, honouring people throughout the UK for their outstanding contributions across all the disciplines the RYA represents, including sailing, windsurfing, motor cruising, inland waterways and personal watercraft. The Awards will be presented at the organisation’s annual awards ceremony in London on 22 November.

They include:

Peter Woods (RYA Regional Award) – RYA East Regional Committee.

Sheena Barrow (RYA Lifetime Commitment Award) – Orford Sailing Club.

Ruth and Paul Bonham (RYA Lifetime Commitment Award) – the Norfolk Schools Sailing Association.

Mary Makey (RYA Lifetime Commitment Award) – Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

John Smith (RYA Lifetime Commitment Award) – Waldringfield Sailing Club.

Peter Willis (RYA Lifetime Commitment Award) – The Nancy Blackett Trust.

Each have contributed to sailing in the region in different ways, and have been nominated by their Clubs or Organisations for their hard work and dedication. Sheena has played a pivotal part in Orford Sailing Club’s RYA training programme since 1997, when she began running the club’s training, becoming the club’s RYA Principal in 2010, saying of the Award “I feel incredibly fortunate to be receiving this award. Sailing has been a love of mine since I was 11. What began as a passion in my youth, then became a form of escape to follow my dreams. Now I have come full circle to what has become one of my main ways of connecting with the community where I encourage children out on the water for the first time. I am looking forward to the event when many of the other national volunteers will get together to share and relish this special day of RYA recognition,” whilst Peter Woods was the Treasurer of the RYA East Regional Committee for 20 years until his retirement from this role in 2018. He said: I was pleased but somewhat surprised to be nominated for an award. I will be very honoured and proud to meet HRH Princess Anne and the other award winners. I am looking forward to the day very much indeed.”

For more information about how to get out on the water in the East Region visit www.rya.org.uk/go/startboating