Okehampton’s Rotary Club celebrated the hard work of thirteen local charities, organisations and individuals at a Rotary Open Evening in the London Inn recently.

Over forty representatives of local charities, community organisations, Rotarians and other guests attended the evening at which over a dozen people and organisations received a Rotary Club certificate in recognition of the voluntary work they do helping those in need in the Okehampton community.

Recipients included Rebecca Green from the Okehampton Community Kitchen, Linda Harper from the Okehampton Community Garden, Gilead Foundations, Paul and Isobel Jarrett for their work at the foodbank and Simon Chudley from the London Inn, among others.

Paul Vachon, president of the Okehampton Rotary Club, said: ‘We were looking at the people that helped with warm rooms and helping with the more vulnerable members of society or community really and those people needed recognising.

‘Some of the people were recognised because of what they’ve done in the past, throughout the covid period and we felt the foodbank hadn’t really had the the recognition that it really needed - supporting the vulnerable over the covid period and they’re still doing that obviously and the numbers are growing.

‘Rebecca and all the other little community groups in the town which are really supporting, people through this difficult time, especially with a cost of living going up and up so we felt we needed to recognise them.’

Brief talks about the organisations were given by Christi Brereton from Team Chaos Thai boxing club, Jo Morgan from the Gilead Foundations and Rebecca Green, who was also presented with a cheque to fund two new freezers for the community kitchen. also received awards.

Mr Chudley said receiving his award was ‘quite a shock’ but that it was very ‘nice.’

Andrew Morgan, chairman of the foodbank, added that Paul and Isobel Jarrett were very deserving of the award having been ‘absolutely brilliant’ throughout covid, while Linda Harper added that it was ‘nice to have what you do recognised by the community.’

The Rotary Club of Okehampton has been serving the community of Okehampton and surrounding district for 58 years. The club currently has 20 members and meets alternate Wednesdays at the London Inn at 7pm.

Upcoming Rotary Club events include Senior Citizens lunches at Ashbury Golf Hotel on December 13 and 14 and a Christmas collection outside Waitrose on December 16 and 17.

Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland is a membership and humanitarian service organisation.

Through membership of their local Rotary Club, members use their time and talents to make a difference in their own communities and others communities around the world.

For more information visit www.rotarygbi.org or to join the local Rotary Club search for www.rotarygbi.org/join or visit the Rotary Club of Okehampton Facebook page.