A LAMERTON duo have been shortlisted for an award after securing temporary accommodation for pupils at the local primary school after they alerted emergency services to a fire at the school site earlier this year. 

Kath and Martin Davey, who care for and live close to Lamerton Primary School, were alerted to a fire after hearing the alarm sounding late one evening in February. It was caused by a wiring fault to a heater in one of the classrooms. The initial smouldering grew and spread to the next classroom, but the couple intervened and called 999, preventing the bellowing black smoke from wreaking extensive damage. 

With pupils off school the following day, Kath and Martin, who are also on the village hall committee, arranged for pupils to use the hall and two large marquees as a temporary premises whilst renovation work was completed at the school during the subsequent months. A teacher from the school approached the couple, asking if she could submit their names as a nomination to the BBC’s Make a Difference Awards in the ‘Neighbour’ category. 

Kath said: “The teacher proposed the idea during a village games night at the hall one evening in March. She was very thankful that we had rearranged the hall in the morning and the evening every day during the time the pupils were there. There was plenty to do with the hall in use regularly such as karate on Monday afternoons, badminton on Wednesday afternoons and evenings and art class on Thursday mornings. 

“We worked with those who run the classes to use the hall at different times or do so at alternative venues in the three weeks it took to secure and set up the marquees. We’d also sort things in the hall office which the school were using to accommodate for weddings. Wednesday afternoon and evening badminton, Monday afternoon karate, and Thursday art class in the morning. I was initially slightly nervous as we didn’t do this to get anything out of it.”

A BBC team descended on the hall to interview the pair during the school sports day in June, later announcing them as finalists. The interview was broadcast on Radio Devon last week (Friday, September 8) along with other award finalists and their stories throughout the week.

Kath and the school’s headteacher, Melody Sterry, will be heading to the ceremony at Powderham Castle on September 27 to find out if they have won. To listen to Kath and Martin’s interview on BBC Radio Devon, head online using the following web link: https://shorturl.at/npCW8