Paignton community champion receives the Queen's award
DEVON'S finest have been honoured by the Queen with the presentation of their British Empire Medals.
Chosen for their tireless community work and dedication, the nine men and women from across the County were named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June after the medal was reintroduced for the Jubilee year.
Set in the backdrop of County Hall, they were presented with their awards by Devon’s Lord Lieutenant, Eric Dancer CBE JP, the Queen’s representative in the county, at a special ceremonial event.
He said: “These people are true community champions, and I was delighted to present them with their British Empire Medals. They have all carried out so much work to help others, and fully deserve the recognition the medal brings.
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“I hope the dedication and hard work they have provided to their communities will be an inspiration to all.”
The British Empire Medal is awarded for meritorious service worthy of recognition by the Crown. It marks an achievement or contribution of a very 'hands-on' service to the community in a local geographical area. This might take the form of sustained commitment in support of very local charitable and/or voluntary activity, or innovative work that has delivered real impact but that is relatively short (three to four years) in duration.
Among the recipients was Tony Smith, who received the BEM award for services to the community in Paignton.
Mr Smith has made a massive contribution to his local community of Paignton over a considerable period of time and in so many ways – encouraging others to work together to make life better for each other and for those around them.
He has been a governor of White Rock Primary School since 2000 and has led the school in many innovative school improvements using his extensive knowledge of buildings maintenance and construction.
His projects include the refurbishment of the school’s kitchen which resulted in more children taking school meals and the kitchen making a profit for the first time; project managing the new Early Years outdoor playground overcoming many obstacles with finance and design; encouraging fundraising through the school’s summer fete and facilitating the complete refurbishment of swimming facilities in partnership with the local college.
In addition to these projects, Mr Smith has joined staff and pupils on many residential visits which have included outdoor pursuit centres and also visits to Holland.
For more than 20 years he has been involved in fundraising and charity elements of the Community Association and leading and encouraging others to work through often seemingly difficult and challenging situations to achieve successful outcomes.
Anthony is active in all projects that he is involved in and has a driven desire to move projects forward with success always in mind.