British Empire Medals for duo who work with the young

Allan Jones, right, with HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis.

Allan Jones, right, with HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis.

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Two people have been presented with British Empire Medals for giving almost 50 years’ service to youth groups.

Susan Bell and Allan Jones, both of Bedford, received their awards from HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis during a ceremony at he Shuttleworth Collection and the Swiss Garden, in Old Warden.

Susan Bell, right, with HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis. Pictures by June Essex.

Susan Bell, right, with HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis. Pictures by June Essex.

Susan has had a profound impact on the lives of many young people during the 25 years she had been coaching at Bedford Eagles diving club, and has also been with the local council for more than a decade.

She is well respected and admired for her dedication to diving, giving up her time to attend competitions to support her pupils as well as helping with club administration.

Allan has been recognised for his contribution to the community of Edmonton, in north London. His involvement with the Sea Cadet Unit there began in 1985 when he offered to assist the small committee of trustees with running of the charity.

By 1988 he found himself voted in as chairman of the organising committee, and set about recruiting new members to the committee and ensuring the future of the unit and its premises.

Although he formerly retired as chairman in 2014 Allan continues to act as mentor to his successor, as his son is the unit’s current commanding officer.

Mrs Nellis said: “It was my great privilege to present these two British Empire Medals. Susan and Allan were awarded these for their exceptional voluntary and charitable work. The award of a British Empire Medal is recognition by the Crown of a very special contribution by the recipient to the community life in this country.

“Local communities benefit by people undertaking voluntary and charitable duties, and Susan and Allan have made very special contributions to their local community life.”