Don't miss a story sign up to Midweek Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Queen honours Seaton woman

09:07 08 January 2014

Barbara Dearden-Potter with a letter of congratulations on her New Year Honour from the Lord Lieutenant of Devon. Photo by Chris Carson.

Barbara Dearden-Potter with a letter of congratulations on her New Year Honour from the Lord Lieutenant of Devon. Photo by Chris Carson.

Archant

Charity worker and former council chairman Barbara Dearden-Potter receives the British Empire Medal

A former Seaton council chairman’s years of dedicated service to the town has been recognised by The Queen.

Barbara Anne Dearden-Potter has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours list for her outstanding community work.

She 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.

Mrs Dearden-Potter moved to the resort in 1967 with her two youngest children following a broken first marriage, the two older boys remaining with their father.

She received a lot of friendly help from local people and soon settled in to community life.

She helped out at Stella Maris Convent and got generally involved in the church and Christian Aid, when the late George Clare was the organiser. She also worked as a home help for Devon County Council.

After joining the Red Cross she became the district welfare officer, then studied for a BA(Hons) degree with the Open University, followed by a TOPS course to refresh former secretarial skills.

She represented the Red Cross on various organisations, becoming secretary of the disablement income group and the local council for voluntary service.

In 1976 she was appointed clerk-typist/librarian at the IBA Harman Engineering Training College which had recently opened in the old convent grounds.

Retirement in 1990 gave her the opportunity to repay some of what Seaton had given to her over the years.

She was elected to the town council and served for 12 years, two of them as chairman. Planning issues became a particular interest and she attended the officer meetings when regeneration was first mooted in 1995, becoming very involved in the process, including helping to stage the ‘planning for real’ exercise.

She became a director of the Seaton Development Trust and has worked with the group ever since, currently as its vice-chairman.

She was instrumental in saving the Underfleet toilet block from demolition.

Other voluntary work included teaching adult reading, driving for the CVS and taking blind and partially sighted people to their club in Sidford, eventually helping to set up a similar group in Seaton with which she is still involved.

In January 2004 she helped found Seaton Phoenix, filling a gap for a “truly local charity”. Since then almost £40,000 has been donated to local causes and it was with great regret that, due to the increasing age and infirmity of its membership, the charity is closing at the end of March.

Paying tribute to the community she has served for so well for so many years Mrs Dearden Potter 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.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Staff and residents at Barley Close.
Photo by Tony Charnock, 07770 484888

Staff at a care home near Axminster have been praised for developing ‘kind and compassionate relationships’ with residents in an ‘outstanding’ report from the health regulator.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:59
Bernie Rosewarne, of Seaton Sea Anglers (left) presents the cheque to Nick Marks, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, Lyme Regis RNLI.

Members of Lyme Lifeboat crew receive the cash donation during a barbecue at Axmouth Yacht Club

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00
Students with their awards at Axe Valley Community College's annual art exhibition

Professionals join students and staff to display their work at the annual exhibition

Read more
Thu, 19:11

Accident holds up vehicles heading for Lyme Regis to see the Red Arrows

Read more
Thu, 14:49
Pupils bug hunting at Seaton Wetlands

Primary school children hunt minibeasts and make charcoal over the campfire

Read more
Thu, 11:00
The Princess Royal watches a demonstration in Honiton.

Honiton received a royal visit last week when the Princess Royal officially opened the town’s recently built joint cadet centre.

Read more
Thu, 08:43
The Red Arrows in a previous display over Lyme Regis

Thousands expected to watch the crack RAF team in high speed action over the bay

Read more
Wed, 14:10
Photo by Guy Harrop. Pic of 
Children's Hospice South West 25th anniversary at Exeter Cathedral

The Duchess of Cornwall, Royal patron of the Children’s Hospice South West, attended a special service of thanksgiving service for the charity at Exeter Cathedral

Read more
Wed, 13:59

The number of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants in Devon fell during June to the lowest figure on record.

Read more
Wed, 09:54
Exeter Chiefs pre-season training on Exmouth beach. Ref exe 29-16SH 2526. Picture: Simon Horn.

Chiefs visit Exmouth for pre-season training

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 16°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications