NCI Newhaven, a group of volunteers based in Newhaven, East Sussex, has been awarded The King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS).

This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

The KAVS recognises outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created as the QAVS in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King confirmed his desire to continue the Award.

National Coastwatch Institution is an asset of HM Coastguard and keeps a visual and listening watch for those in peril on our inshore waters and coastline. NCI Newhaven is on watch 365 days a year and currently has seventy trained volunteer watchkeepers sharing duties.

NCI Newhaven was established in 2004 at the lookout on Castle Hill, Newhaven so 2024 will be their 20th birthday. Although NCI Newhaven is the only lookout in East Sussex, NCI is a national organisation with 58 lookouts along the coast of England and Wales.

Representatives of NCI Newhaven will receive the KAVS crystal and certificate from Mr Andrew Blackman CStJ, Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex, in early Spring 2024. In addition, two volunteers from NCI Newhaven will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May and June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

David Crozier, NCI CEO and Trustee for the SE, says: ‘NCI Newhaven volunteers are richly deserving of this award for their almost twenty-year contribution to public safety. I am delighted that the work of this tireless and dedicated group has been recognised by HM The King.’

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Currently almost 60 National Coastwatch stations are operational and manned by over 2600 volunteer watchkeepers around the British Isles from Fleetwood in the North West, through Wales, to the South and East of England to Filey in North Yorkshire. 

National Coastwatch watchkeepers provide the eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. They are trained to deal with emergencies offering a variety of skills and experience, and full training by the National Coastwatch ensures that high standards are met.








The words National Coastwatch Institution and Eyes Along the Coast and the NCI logos are Registered Trademarks of NCI.


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