In Sue’s memory

A LASTING tribute to the founder of Age Concern Exmouth, the people s champion Sue Newman, has been unveiled.

A LASTING tribute to the founder of Age Concern Exmouth, the 'people's champion' Sue Newman, has been unveiled.

Sue, who died in September 2008 while on holiday in Ireland, aged just 58, was the charity's first chief officer and the held the post from 1982 to 2002.

Friends, colleagues and members of Age Concern Exmouth dedicated rooms at the charity's headquarters in Landon House, New Street to her memory.

Trustee Graham Martin unveiled a new plaque marking the renaming of the rooms, while friend Ray Davison presented an antique clock, now displayed at the Landon House HQ, donated by East Devon Labour Party.

Graham Martin, chairman of Age Concern Exmouth, said: "The many services and activities provided today were instigated by Sue's forward thinking and genuine desire to see a 'better deal' for all older people.

"This resulted in establishing a day-care centre, home help, at that time a charity shop - Sweet Charity - along with information and advice.

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"Exmouth owes a great debt of gratitude to Sue Newman for establishing Age Concern Exmouth. Through her perseverance and strength of character she always saw not a problem but a solution.

"As a result of all that Sue had strived for and established, Age Concern Exmouth and District has continued to expand and develop through her successor Steve Dace."

He added that naming the rooms were a 'fitting' tribute: "Sue's underlying faith was that individuals count, regardless of class, colour or creed - she was a people's champion.

"All older people she came into contact with were treated with respect and dignity."

Ray Davison, secretary of East Devon Labour Party recalled when Sue, as a political activist, joined the party in the 1980s: "...her real passion was political action, dialogue and fighting for justice.

"She also represented us at a number of Labour Conferences...many of our members were quite elderly people then and Sue used all her skills and patience to develop strong and good relations with them.