Volunteer Jenny awarded BEM for services to Exmouth community
PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 June 2018
An Exmouth pensioner who dedicated nearly 30 years of her life to giving elderly residents a Sunday roast through the winter has won royal recognition.
Jenny Newman, 75, of Louisa Place, has been awarded a British Empire Medal in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to the Exmouth community.
The former primary school teacher has been volunteering for various causes in the town since moving back to Exmouth in the ’70s and is perhaps best known for running a Sunday lunch club for elderly residents with her husband Don.
Jenny, who still volunteers with the Glenorchy Work Club and the Exmouth Community Larder, has spoken of her shock at the award.
She said: “I was very surprised. I had a letter in May to tell me but I was told not to tell anyone.
“I had to check the list to make sure my name was definitely on there.
“It’s a terrific honour because I was put forward for what I have done in the community.
“It’s a lot of little things that I have done rather than one big thing.”
Jenny first came to Exmouth when she spent three years studying at Rolle College.
She returned to the town in 1974 and went on to join Littleham Primary School as a teacher in 1986. Jenny retired from teaching nearly 10 years later.
Most people will know Jenny for running the luncheon club at the Glenorchy Church Hall, in Exeter Road.
The group was set up in 1979 to offer elderly residents a place to go on a Sunday for a coffee and a roast lunch through the winter months.
She added: “There were no cafés open in Exmouth when we were open – if you can believe that.
“There were elderly people and many of them couldn’t prepare a roast lunch for themselves.”
During the years when the church hall, in Exeter Road, was being rebuilt, Jenny and Don continued the club at the now demolished Glenorchy Church in Salterton Road.
Jenny kept the club going following the death of her husband in 2001. The club was closed in 2008.
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