NAVAL reservists have been recognised for their hard work at an end of year ceremony.
Families and friends of sailors from HMS King Alfred, Portsmouth’s reservist unit, gathered at their Whale Island base for a carol service and awards presentation.
The unit’s coxswain, Chief Petty Officer Lorraine Baker, from Gosport, was picked as HMS King Alfred’s Reservist of the Year for the work she has put in.
She was commended for her ‘skills, motivation, sheer professionalism, and diligence’.
CPO Baker, 46, retired from the Royal Navy after a 27-year career to take up a civilian post with the Maritime Trade Organisation.
But the call of the sea was too much to resist and the experienced sailor joined the Royal Naval Reserves (RNR).
CPO Baker said: ‘After 27 years in the Royal Navy I still felt I had a lot to offer the service.
‘I have enjoyed my first 15 months with the RNR.
‘This award came as a quite a shock due to feeling that I am just doing my duty in supporting the reserves and the unit.
‘I very much appreciate the recognition of my work.’
The awards on the night were presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, who wore the uniform of an honorary Commodore in the Royal Naval Reserve.
The new entry of the year award was presented to 24-year-old Officer Cadet Jamie Smith, who joined HMS King Alfred a year ago.
His citation said he had shown excellent leadership qualities and was a comprehensive team player.
Jamie is a qualified paramedic and works for the South Central Ambulance Service.
He said: ‘I am happily surprised, especially as I was up against other great new entries at the unit.
‘Joining the RNR has been the best thing I have ever done. It really complements my civilian life and provides some nice variety across interesting activities.’
Other award recipients on the night included Chief Petty Officer Steve Lacey, who was presented with a clasp to his Voluntary Reserves Service Medal and a Service Valedictory.
Leading Naval Nurse Sarah Hudson, 42, from Gosport, also received her Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal from Dame Mary.