Weston couple awarded British Empire Medal for supporting others in pandemic

Colin and Jacqui Payne

Jacqui and Colin on holiday with the three service users they support. - Credit: Colin and Jacqui Payne

A couple from North Somerset have been recognised for their services to social care during the pandemic in the Queen's birthday honours. 

Colin and Jacqui Payne, from Weston, have been awarded the British Empire Medal for their work during Covid-19. 

For the past 10 years, Colin and Jacqui have shared their home with people with learning disabilities - supporting them and welcoming them to become part of their household. 

On the cusp of the lockdown last year, the couple prepared their home so they could dedicate their lives to becoming full-time carers. 

Colin and Jacqui went into lockdown with the three people they support, providing them with all the personal care, emotional and behavioural support they needed. They spent four months providing specialist and intensive support to the people in their care, night and day, without respite. 

Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Don Davies, said: "It is hugely satisfying to see Colin and Jacqui recognised for their efforts. They are, like many others across North Somerset, the shining lights of the pandemic going above and beyond on a daily basis to make sure people in need were looked after. 

 "We are very lucky to have their support as Shared Lives carers and I hope that being recognised in this way at a national level makes them justifiably proud of the tremendous contribution they make in our community." 

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A number of people from North Somerset and Somerset have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list: 

British Empire Medal 

Emma Jayne Blackmore, from Portishead, was awarded for services to the community in Portishead, during Covid-19.  

Burnham-on-Sea's Dr Karen Elizabeth Parker, a flood and coastal risk management adviser with the Environment Agency, was recognised for services to equality, diversity and inclusion. 


Adele Jane Haysom, from Portishead was honoured for services to education as the chair of trustees for Board Lighthouse Schools Partnership. 

Dr Thomas Peter Edward Wells, from Portishead, is a consultant medical oncologist at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. He was awarded for services to medicine and people with disabilities in the medical profession. 


Andrew Tilden, from Winscombe, was awarded for services to social work in his role as director of operations for Skills for Care. 

Susannah Elizabeth Turner, from Nailsea, was recognised for services to social justice as chief executive officer for the Quartet Community Foundation. 

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