‘Selfless’ June is named Ottery St Mary’s Citizen of the Year

June Woodward was presented with Ottery's Citizen of the Year award by mayor Glyn Dobson

June Woodward was presented with Ottery's Citizen of the Year award by mayor Glyn Dobson - Credit: Archant

‘She has spent her life serving her community’

A humble and selfless ‘friend to many’ has won the recognition she deserves by being named Ottery’s Citizen of the Year.

June Woodward, 78, was ‘absolutely delighted’ to receive the accolade that came as an unexpected surprise. She said her good work is just her way of giving back to the community.

Described by one resident as ‘one of the gentlest, most caring people I have ever known’, the Mill Street pensioner is usually found working behind the scenes with various organisations including Ottery Help Scheme and the Sid Valley Memory Café.

June was presented with the award by mayor Glyn Dobson at the annual parish meeting on Tuesday.

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On winning the title, she said: “I’m absolutely delighted and a little bit speechless. I was not expecting it – I picked somebody else, actually, because I like being in the background.

“It is lovely to receive the award.”

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A graduate of Exeter University, June worked as a teacher and went on to have a career working for the social services.

To this day, she regularly visits a number of people with mental health problems or autism, as well as two former pupils.

June also volunteers with the memory café, runs a bereavement group with Ottery Help Scheme and is a member of a healing group in the church.

Some of the comments included in her Citizen of the Year nomination described her as ‘extremely kind’ and ‘a very good friend’ who ‘quietly and humbly gets on with helping other people’.

Those who know her said ‘she always puts herself second’, ‘will always lend a listening ear in confidence’, ‘is warm and compassionate’ and ‘has spent her life serving in her community’ with an ‘attitude that is positive and selfless’.

June, who has two sons who she describes as ‘absolutely superb’, added: “It pleases me to do it. I have been very lucky and it’s just my way of giving back. I just love all people.”

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