Tributes paid after musician’s award

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The dedication and long-service of a Whitby musician was celebrated at an award ceremony in York.

Steve Phillips, a local blues musician, has been a keen supporter of the lifeboat service for six years and counting; raising massive amounts of money for the charity.

He has turned down some very big concerts in order to further support the RNLI as senior fund-raising manager, Michael Charlton, explains: “Steve was due to headline a concert in Italy playing with members of Dire Straits but cancelled this as it clashed with a date in Whitby.

“Because he is so well-known the gigs are always sell-outs, with many people travelling from all over the country to see him, and in doing so support the RNLI at the same time.”

The annual awards saw Phillips and 66 other volunteers awarded at the Northern Area awards ceremony which is a way of honouring the dedication and tireless service of all the volunteers.

Steve told the Whitby Gazette: “I really didn’t see it coming.

“I was completely shocked at getting the award. When I saw the letter drop through the letter box I was completely surprised.

Steve explained why he became such a supporter of the lifeboat.

“It was because I lived near the sea, it was obvious really,” he said.

“There are lots of charities I could fund-raise for but because of where I lived the obvious choice was the RNLI.

“I got to know the fund-raisers because of a gig I played in Halifax, they were the ones who instigated the fund-raising concerts on behalf of the RNLI. After that I just kept supporting them.”

Louise Barth, RNLI fund-raising and communication manager for the north, said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of the RNLI and our annual awards ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the amazing work of those people who help keep our charity afloat.

“They could be fund-raisers; part of a lifeboat station management group; presenters who go into schools to talk about the RNLI or representatives of companies who have offered extraordinary support.”

Whitby lifeboat fund-raiser Graham Holmes also praised Steve’s efforts.

He said: “The amount of work he has done for us is phenomenal.

“We are very fortunate that musicians of Steve’s – and his band’s – talent are willing to support Whitby Lifeboat and long may it continue.”

Steve and his band the Rough Diamonds will once again appear at the Friendship on 12 November. To book tickets call Mr Holmes on 895981 or on 07812 759507.