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RNLI ‘fundraising phenomenon’ given royal honour

By PA News

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A woman described as a “fundraising phenomenon” for the RNLI has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Audrey Wood, from Newmachar in Aberdeenshire, has been given a British Empire Medal after raising more than £235,000 for lifeboat stations across the north east of Scotland following the death of her son.

Stuart “Woody” Wood was one of 16 men who died in the Flight 85N helicopter tragedy in 2009, and Aberdeen RNLI’s D-class inshore lifeboat was named “Buoy Woody – 85N” in his memory.

At the time, Mrs Wood described her fundraising efforts as “a distraction therapy for us in this lifelong grieving journey of losing our only son”.

An Aberdeen lifeboat was named Buoy Woody – 85N, in memory of Audrey Wood’s son Stuart (Newsline Media/RNLI/PA)
An Aberdeen lifeboat was named Buoy Woody – 85N, in memory of Audrey Wood’s son Stuart (Newsline Media/RNLI/PA)

Upon receiving the medal, she said: “I’m astounded and honoured by this unexpected recognition.

“I set out to do something positive in response to the tragic loss of Stuart, and perhaps it was more successful than I dared hope.

“But that’s really down to the support of so many local businesses and individuals whose generosity nurtured the Glamour, Glitz and Bubbles ladies’ day event.

“I hope, when Covid-19 is over, we’ll be able to resume our events to support local RNLI lifeboats.”

Anne Scott, the RNLI’s community manager for north east Scotland, said: “Audrey Wood is a fundraising phenomenon in Aberdeen.

“Every year, outside of 2020, she stages a sparkling sell-out event which makes people aware of the lifesaving work our volunteer crews do – and that none of this work could happen were it not for the generosity of members of the public.

“The RNLI is hugely grateful to Audrey.”

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