A DEDICATED Himley Hall Sailing Club member has been recognised for her commitment to the sport in the 2023 RYA Volunteer Awards.

Lucy Griffiths was among 81 volunteers from across the UK honoured in the 2023 awards by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

The awards were presented by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, at the Grade II listed One Great George Street in London.

Stourbridge News: RYA volunteer awardsRYA volunteer awards (Image: Paul Wyeth - RYA)

Lucy, who lives in Stourton, was recognised for outstanding contribution within the RYA Community Awards category for those supporting the grassroots of the sport.

After joining Himley Hall Sailing Club in 2012, the former headteacher became involved in reinvigorating youth sailing activities.

She said: “I enjoy volunteering because when I was young, people did it for me, and that's how I developed a love of the great outdoors.

“I read Swallows and Amazons in my youth and really wanted to learn how to sail, but it was difficult and expensive, so I didn't until we moved near to Himley, where it was much more accessible.

“I wanted to give back so other youngsters could also learn regardless of family income.

“We reckon that around 1,000 children have learnt the basics of sailing through training with us over the years.”

Stourbridge News: Himley Hall Sailing ClubHimley Hall Sailing Club (Image: Sarah Bonnar)

Nominating Lucy for the ward, the club said Lucy had encouraged local schools to include sailing in the curriculum and organised a team of members to support this.

Training secretary for six years, Lucy arranged visits to other clubs and centres to keep junior sailors engaged, with many subsequently becoming members, taking part in racing – including at a national championship - and becoming instructors themselves. She also led an initiative with the police to provide sailing lessons in the school holidays for pupils from challenging backgrounds.

The club, an RYA Recognised Training Centre, offers sailing courses and activities for all ages. To find out more visit https://hhsc.weebly.com/