A COUPLE who put in dedicated hours running Okehampton Foodbank and another who have kept the railway station shipshape in uncertain times have been recognised by the town mayor in her annual awards, writes Sarah Pitt.

Sue and Tom Baxter were commended for their work running the Dartmoor Railway Supporters’ Association, keeping the station spruce and cared for after the company running the heritage rail service went into receivership earlier this year, and on into the coronavirus lockdown.

And Paul and Isobel Jarrett’s work running the foodbank has also been applauded by town mayor Julie Yelland. Their service became even more crucial when the Covid lockdown started and many people had to self-isolate, and the Jarretts have delivered a record 850 food parcels since March.

Also being recognised are the Okehampton Columbines Ladies’ Hockey Team, who celebrated their centenary in 2019. And the mayor is also making a posthumous award to popular community man and one-time Okehampton mayor Ray Vallance, who died aged 87 in February this year.

Cllr Yelland hoped to present the awards at a special ceremony in the town hall in May, in her final gesture in her year as mayor. With Covid getting in the way this didn’t happen, but Cllr Yelland — who was persuaded to stay on for another year as mayor in the current cirucumstances — still plans to present the awards in person next May.

‘We want to be able to do that because that is really important, to acknowledge the people and organisations who make a contribution,’ she said. ‘They have something to eat and a fuss is made of them. We still want to be able to do that.

Read more in this week’s Okehampton Times