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3:20 PM 15th November 2020
lifestyle

Prestigious Accolade for Nautical Charity's Chief Volunteer Officer

The Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) is delighted to announce that the dedication and passion of their Chief Volunteer Officer, Captain Nicholas Spencer, has been recognised at the highest level with the award of the Merchant Navy Medal.

L to R Rear Admiral Andy Kyte, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Logistic Operations), Captain Nick Spencer Chief Volunteer Officer MVS and MVS Chair David Hughes at an MVS event in 2019 at All Hallows London (Bigger Picture Agency)
L to R Rear Admiral Andy Kyte, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Logistic Operations), Captain Nick Spencer Chief Volunteer Officer MVS and MVS Chair David Hughes at an MVS event in 2019 at All Hallows London (Bigger Picture Agency)
The medal is awarded to those who are serving or have served in the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets of the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands for exemplary service and devotion to duty, rewarding those who have set an outstanding example to others.

Indeed, Captain Spencer has been an outstanding example to all throughout his career and as a member of the MVS. He has been Chief Volunteer Officer (CVO) since 2018 and has led by example visiting most of the UK's 26 active units and participating both at strategic and operational levels within the charity.

His career at sea included being a ferry master (much of the time on challenging Irish Sea routes), a ferry company superintendent and a Mostyn pilot.

As a retired Master Mariner, now living in Barmby near York, Captain Spencer has dedicated his time to the MVS. The job of CVO is unpaid (the MVS has no employed staff) and he has devoted more time and effort to the role than could be expected of a full-time employee. In addition to all the routine, and sometimes not so routine, challenges of the day-to-day management of the charity, he has been working on updating several policy documents, ranging from updating safety management systems to rewriting the charity's training pathway.

The MVS trains its members (many of whom have had no previous connection with the sea) in nautical skills, raises awareness of all things maritime among the public, provides training and sea experience to youth groups, supports port authorities by providing safety patrols that contribute to compliance with Port Marine Safety Code and engages in the Resilience emergency response preparedness programme. In Captain Spencer's case he has shown how experience and skills gained during a 40-year career at sea can be put to good use in 'retirement'.

David Hughes, Chair of Council of the Maritime Volunteer Service said:

"We are incredibly lucky to have Nick as our CVO and we are exceptionally proud of his attainment of the Merchant Navy Medal. He is an example to us all and a credit to the MVS, the Merchant Navy and himself."

Anyone wishing to know more about the MVS can email hq@mvs.org.uk