Fairlight man awarded British Empire Medal for charity work

John Pulfer, pictured second from right, with the Lord Lieutenant and the other BEM recipients
John Pulfer, pictured second from right, with the Lord Lieutenant and the other BEM recipients

A former magistrate has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his tireless fundraising work for Pett Level Rescue Boat and the community of Fairlight.

John Pulfer, 76, received the honour at a ceremony on Friday (October 21), at Eastbourne town hall, hosted by the town mayor, Pat Hearn.

He was presented with the BEM by Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field, and was one of six recipients to be honoured.

Mr Pulfer said: “It’s a privilege to be honoured and the award came out of the blue. It’s very nice to be recognised for many years of charity work.”

He started fundraising for the rescue boat in Pett more than five years ago and since then has collected more than £100,000.

This has been used to build a new boathouse alongside the old one, which has been fully refurbished.

Two new boats have also been bought, one of which is a smaller training vessel to help train the volunteer crew. A new launch vehicle was also bought.

Mr Pulfer said: “We are a very special independent rescue boat called on by the police and fire brigade and we do a good job.

“We have 25 volunteers aged from 14 to 80 and receive no money from anywhere, so we raise all of our own funds.”

Mr Pulfer, who lives in Fairlight, is also the Poppy Appeal organiser for the Royal British Legion’s Pett District Branch, which covers Pett/Pett Level, Fairlight, Icklesham, Guestling and Three Oaks.

He is also managing director of the Battle of Britain Historical Society.

Speaking after Friday’s ceremony the Lord Lieutenant, Peter Field said: “It is always a pleasure to recognise those who do so much in their fields of work or by volunteering to improve the lives of other in the county and further afield.

“These special individuals are recognised for a wide range of reasons but mainly to the devoted service they have given which only highlights the diversity in our county.

“I am so pleased they have been nationally recognised for their contribution.”

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