Exmouth man wins Volunteer of the Year at Devon Pride Awards

  Posted: 18.11.20 at 17:20 by Beth Sharp

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An Exmouth man who goes above and beyond, quietly getting on, helping adults with learning disabilities has won a Pride of Devon award - Volunteer of the Year.

Paul Baldwin, 51, originally born in Kent, moved to North Devon in 1985 and to Exmouth in February 2010.

Paul is a volunteer at Exmouth Gateway - a social club for adults with learning disabilities in and around Exmouth and East Devon.

The club currently has more than 100 members, ranging from age 18 to 80.

It's predominantly a safe place where they can meet with their friends whilst doing organised activities, once a week on a Monday evening (Covid pending).

The activities range from discos, bingo, craft games, puzzles sports during the summer or some just like to chat and have a drink with their friends.

The club also organises two respite holidays a year, usually one in this country and one abroad.

Exmouth Gateway, which launched in 1989, also has three football teams called the Exmouth Tigers which play in the Ability Counts league.

Paul is the secretary for the club and chairman and main coach for the football teams.

He said: "My wife Emma nominated me because she felt that I have just quietly got on with things in the background ensuring everything gets done and she felt that I should be recognised for what I do, as most people wouldn't realise that all I do is voluntary and on top of a full-time job."

When asked what his first thoughts were when he found out about his nomination, he said: "My first thoughts were surprise really as, I don't do Gateway to be recognised for what I do, I do it as I get enjoyment out of using my skills to help people and to see those people develop and achieve new things through encouragement and support."

The Pride of Devon Awards 2020 will be streamed live on the Radio Exe YouTube channel on Thursday, November 19, at 7pm.

CLICK HERE to see the awards.

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