Appledore’s Jackie Avery and Braunton’s Barrie Charlesworth are presented with their BEM medals in Exeter

Barrie Charlesworth from Braunton is presented with his British Empire Medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon. Picture: Lucy Duval imagesBarrie Charlesworth from Braunton is presented with his British Empire Medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon. Picture: Lucy Duval images

Two North Devon community champions have been presented with their British Empire Medals by the Queen's representative.

Jacqueline Avery from Appledore and Barrie Charlesworth from Braunton received their gongs from the hands of Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon, in a formal investiture at County Hall in Exeter.

Mrs Avery was awarded a BEM for voluntary service to ex-service personnel through her work with Armed Forces charity SSAFA.

Jackie, who is secretary of the North Devon and Torridge division, has volunteered with SSAFA for 25 years, since her husband David left the Army.

SSAFA works with those who have served and are still serving in the armed forces, helping with issues from accommodation to psychological support.

Barrie, 70, received his award for services to Life Saving in North Devon. He was one of the earliest civilian volunteers with the then North Devon Surf Lifesaving Club and maintains his involvement with Croyde and Saunton Sands surf lifesaving clubs to this day.

As a member of Braunton Caen Rotary he has run numerous Heartstart courses for the British Heart Foundation and the club is also heavily involved in placing life-saving community defibrillators in towns and villages across North Devon.

Lord Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon, said: "It has been a real pleasure to acknowledge and recognise the commitment of those people in Devon who have been honoured for being true community champions.

"All the men and women awarded their British Empire Medals today were honoured for their work in different areas but all share an unwavering commitment to improving their community through voluntary work or through their support of a charitable cause.

"Through hard work and dedication they have all changed their communities for the better and I congratulate all of them, they should be very proud of their achievements."