We decided to create an extra Virgin Stars of the Year Award to recognise outstanding dedication: doing something for a very long period through the many challenge that life brings to all of us (Stephen Murphy, former Virgin Group CEO). The overall quality of all special award nominations received this year was incredibly high, however there was one particular story which caught the judges eyes.
Our first ever Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Barry Taylor, Area Delivery and Compliance Manager at Virgin Media. Barry joined the Portsmouth Lifeboats 27 years ago as a seagoing crew member. After 10 years he took on the position as Lifeboat Operations Manager where he was, and still is, responsible for authorising all lifeboat launches 24/7. During his time working for the RNLI Barry has witnessed some tragic accidents. Since he joined the service there have been over 2,000 boats launched with 1,943 people rescued, of which 262 are considered lives saved. There would be a lot of heartbroken families without Barry's help.
Barry continues to balance his working life at Virgin Media with his full time role supporting the service. He is an unassuming man who rarely talks about his dedication to the RNLI or his involvement in community fundraising. Toby ONeil, Helmsman for the RNLI describes Barry as a role model; he is a hero of the business and his commitment and humble approach remains unparalleled.
Not many people have worked for so many years for such a worthy charity.
Congratulations Barry Taylor!