Selfless Budleigh Salterton charity worker is 'outstanding'

A BUDLEIGH Salterton selfless charity worker has scooped an award which recognises 'outstanding individuals' .

A BUDLEIGH Salterton selfless charity worker has scooped an award which recognises 'outstanding individuals'.

Lions Club member Geoff Paver has been presented with the internationally-acclaimed Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, for his dedication to helping others.

Mr Paver, a Budleigh Lion for 20 years, said he was 'shocked and gobsmacked' when he learned his Lion colleagues had nominated him for the prestigious award.

Mr Paver said the presentation had come out of the blue.

He said: "It is truly an honour to be presented with this award and for once in my life I was choked and speechless.

"I hadn't a clue. I was absolutely gobsmacked. It was such a shock.

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"I joined the Lions because I like helping everybody, helping people less fortunate than myself and giving something back to the town."

Seen as the 'Holy Grail' of Lions Club honours, the organisation said the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award was the 'highest form of recognition' embodying humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism.

A Lions International spokesperson said: "The recipient of this award becomes a model because of the exemplary service to his club and the community for which it serves."

Budleigh Lions Club president Jack Keen and the other members secretly nominated Mr Paver for the tireless work he carries out on behalf of the club, and the town.

Considered an 'amazing' fundraiser, the Budleigh members said Mr Paver's selfless dedication and organization was 'spot on' and ensured the club ran smoothly.

They said his work behind the scenes during the town's annual Gala Week was instrumental in the success of the event.

Mr Paver was invited to join the Lions 20 years ago after his daughter was the Gala Week queen.