Community stalwart made a Freeman of Seaton

16:45 30 April 2014

Barbara Dearden-Potter after being presented with the freedom of Seaton by Mayor Gaynor Sedgwick.

Barbara Dearden-Potter after being presented with the freedom of Seaton by Mayor Gaynor Sedgwick.

Archant

Resort bestows its highest honour on former council chairman and dedicated charity worker Barbara Dearden-Potter

Seaton Town Council has bestowed its highest honour on a former chairman and local fundraiser.

Barbara Dearden-Potter was made a Freeman of the town at a civic reception held in her honour on Thursday.

Councillors staged the event to congratulate her on being awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year’s Honours for her outstanding community work.

Six former first citizens were amongst the guests who also included her friends and family member.

County and district councillor Jim Knight congratulated Mrs Dearden-Potter and spoke fondly of the work they had undertaken together over the years, particularly in the recently disbanded Seaton Phoenix which raised more than £40,000 for local worthy causes.

Town Mayor, Cllr Gaynor Sedgwick, said it had been difficult to know where to start detailing Mrs Dearden-Potter’s achievements as she had been involved in so many groups in the town, serving for many years on the town council.

She congratulated her on receiving her well deserved award and thanked her for her tremendous voluntary work in Seaton and her contribution to the community.

She added that Seaton Town Council was proud of her and her achievements, before handing her the highest award to be given by the council – appointing her a Freeman of the town of Seaton.

Cllr Sedgwick also thanked Janet Cave who had put Mrs Dearden-Potter’s name forward to receive an honour and gathered letters of support, and took the opportunity to thank members of Seaton Phoenix who have worked so hard over many years to raise funds for good causes in the town.

* After receiving the BEM Mrs Dearden-Potter told The Herald she had been completely “overcome and humbled” to discover how highly so many people had thought of her.

“I’ve always tried to do my best for the town and shall accept the BEM on behalf of Seaton,” she said.

Paying tribute to the community she has served so well for so many years she added: “Without a deep faith and trust in God and the support of the wonderful people of Seaton none of this would have been possible. The BEM honours the whole of Seaton.”

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