Seaton aid worker receives MBE from Prince Charles

PUBLISHED: 06:59 11 May 2015 | UPDATED: 09:35 18 May 2015

Sqn Leader  Dick Bell with his MBE

Sqn Leader Dick Bell with his MBE

Archant

Sqn Ldr Dick Bell travels to Buckingham Palace to collect his New Year Honour

A 78-year-old Seaton man travelled to Buckingham Palace last week to receive his MBE from Prince Charles.

Sqn Ldr Dick Bell, a former RAF test pilot, was awarded the medal in the New Year honours for his work for the underprivileged, especially in Nicaragua.

He was accompanied to the investiture ceremony on Thursday by his wife Eileen, his daughter Joanna, and his sister Priscilla.

Afterwards he was whisked off to a surprise lunch at the RAF Club in Picadilly, where members of his family and friends had gathered to congratulate him on his outstanding achievement in a lifetime of selfless service to others.

After his distinguished career in the RAF Sqn Ldr Bell embarked on a Christian mission to help some of the world’s poorest people.

In 2000, he set up his own aid mission in Nicaragua - the Seed International Foundation Trust (SIFT) which still operates from Seaton. It works to help educate children and provide medical facilities on the island of Ometepe. He launched Palm Tree Associates – his latest venture – in 2010.

It works to encourage farmers on the island to grow their own fruit and vegetable to enhance the islanders’ daily diet of rice and beans. Sqn Ldr Bell visits Ometepe four times a year, providing fruit trees for the farmers to plant – some 5,000 so far – and helping install wells, pumps and tanks.

To support his work people can visit the website at www.palmtreeassociates.org.uk


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