A DEDICATED fundraiser for Portishead Lifeboat Trust has died following a long battle with cancer.

North Somerset Times: John Gittings and his wife Peggy.John Gittings and his wife Peggy. (Image: Archant)

John Gittings died at home on March 18 with his wife Peggy by his side.

John, who was born in 1950, has been described by his colleagues from the Portishead Lifeboat Trust and the RNLI as ‘one of Portishead’s most dedicated, passionate and generous volunteers’.

During his 17 years with the trust, John’s enthusiasm and belief rubbed off on everyone and he dedicated his time to leading the team at Portishead and raising thousands of pounds to ensure the volunteer lifeboat crew had the training and equipment they needed to carry out their lifesaving work on the Bristol Channel.

He worked tirelessly to exceed the fundraising appeal total numerous times to raise the money needed to establish a permanent lifeboat station next to the marina in Portishead, which is very close to completion.

Mike Roberts, who succeeded John as chairman of the trust, said: “John was an inspiration to a lot of people.

“He knew everyone in and around the town and he worked very hard to ensure that the Portishead community knew and felt a part of what was happening at the lifeboat station and the work of the volunteer crew.

“So much so that they feel that it is theirs as much as the volunteers’ and a really important part of life in the town. The crew room at the new lifeboat station will be known as the John Gittings Room to honour his memory. He will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.’

George Rawlinson, RNLI operations director, added: “I send my deepest sympathy to all John’s family and friends. In knowing John, I was hugely impressed by his energy, sense of humour, welcoming personality, generosity and commitment to saving lives, an inspiration and example to us all.’

A celebration of John’s life will be held at St Nicholas’ Church, Nore Road, at 11.15am tomorrow (Friday).

John requested no guests wear black and anyone attached to the lifeboat or emergency services should wear their uniforms and medals.

Donations will be given to St Peter’s Hospice and The Portishead Lifeboat.