Dedicated South Tyneside scout leader Jean Devlin ‘shocked’ after being named in King Charles' first New Year Honours List

Scout leader Jean Devlin was “shocked” after being informed she was being awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in King Charles first New Year Honours List.

Jean, 62, has been a volunteer at the 5th Jarrow Scout group since her son, Paul, became a scout 29 years ago.

During almost three decades of dedication, Jean has worked with children to develop their confidence, teamwork, communication and a wide array of practical skills to achieve their scout badges.

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Jean, who is from Jarrow and works as a team manager at a call centre, said: “I got an email from the Cabinet Office addressed from the King which said I’d been nominated for a BEM for my work with children in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

"It was a total surprise and I was shocked that someone had nominated me.”

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During her time in the Scouts, Jean has taken on various roles including badge organiser, section organiser, treasurer and scout leader.

In 2015, Jean’s colleague and scout leader passed away leaving the Cub pack with no qualified leader. Determined the group would continue, Jean found parents willing to help, and used her knowledge to organise training and guide them through their first year.

Jean Devlin was "shocked" after being named the King's New Year Honours List.

Selfless Jean has also played a pivotal role in helping children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to integrate into the scouts as well as leading an initiative to increase the enrolment of girls.”

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While “delighted” to receive Royal recognition, the biggest reward for Jean remains seeing the development of the children.

She said: “The children develop practical skills such as cooking and we run coffee and cake mornings for the local community. It’s great to see the pleasure the children get receiving their badges and it’s fantastic to see them develop.

Jean Devlin is to receive a British Empire Medal after being recognised as part of King Charles first New Year Honour List.
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"I also enjoy taking the children to camp. We use a site at Moor House near Durham as well as West Hall in Whitburn.”

The BEM will be presented by the Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Lucy Winskell. Jean has also been invited to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Jean added: “I don’t have a definite date but it’s something I’m looking forward to.”

Before heading to the capital, Jean is attending the World Scout Jamboree in South Korea where she will be working with youngsters from across the globe.