• Keith Portlock - Chairman

    I was born in Guildford, Surrey just 10 minutes before my twin sister Carol with whom I am still very close. I was educated at Onslow County Secondary School, Guildford, Brooklands Technical College, Weybridge and Wolfson College, Cambridge.

    I joined the Surrey Constabulary as a cadet in 1963 and served, mainly as a detective, in all ranks up to Chief Superintendent. I was married to Janet in 1970 and we have a son and a daughter.

    In 1988 I was appointed Assistant Chief Constable in the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and took responsibility for all police operations. In 1993 I was, amazingly and to Janet’s surprise, promoted to Deputy Chief Constable and had the privilege of serving as deputy to the then Chief Constable, Sir John Evan’s. In Her Majesty’s 1995 New Years Honour’s list I was awarded the Queens Police Medal for distinguished service.

    We lived in Ottery for 26 years before we moved to Tipton in July 2015. Our daughter Gemma has learning disabilities and, for the last 35 years, I have played an active role in issues concerning people with similar difficulties and have chaired a number of related charities. In the 2002 New Year's Honours List Her Majesty graciously awarded me the OBE for my service to the police and to people with learning disabilities.

    On my retirement from the Police Service I was appointed Chair of the newly formed Devon Partnership NHS Trust, responsible for the provision of mental health and learning disability services in Devon, A role I enjoyed for 8 years before I retired properly in 2009.

    I now enjoy cycling, DIY, spending time with my family and supporting Janet, in her role as a founder member and fund raiser for the East Devon Riding for the Disabled Association. I have, however, retained my interest in local issues and helping support those in our community who need our help.

    Why I Joined the Help Scheme 

    When we moved to Tipton we, happily, found ourselves neighbours of Barbara, our previous distinguished Chairman. She, very astutely, recognized I was spending too much time out on my bike and approached me to see if I was interested in joining the scheme.

    Such were her powers of persuasion, allied with my awareness of the wonderful work those associated with the scheme were doing, I couldn’t refuse – could I? So I am now looking forward to working with my OHS colleagues and amazing band of volunteers to carry on our invaluable service to the community.
  • chrispicChris Highnam - Treasurer

    My wife, Monica, and I moved to West Hill in 2007 where we have joined clubs and community projects in the area.

    I was born in Kington Magna, Dorset in 1941 into a farming and dairy family of 4 boys. My father was a keen horseman so I rode ponies from an early age but later played club rugby. After primary school in the village I attended Gillingham Grammar and studied agriculture at Kingston Maurward College.

    We have 3 children – Jim, Emily and Giles.

    I joined the family business, which was one of the earliest after the war rationing, to get a licence for cream making in 1952. From a village dairy we took the business to Shaftesbury in 1985 and developed a range of dairy products which our son Jim, now running the business, has expanded to supply many of the major food manufacturers.

    A long term member of Round Table & 41 Club and now of the Rotary Club of Otter Valley.

    I joined the Help Scheme 4 years ago and have just completed 3 years as Treasurer and have enjoyed being part of our period of change and growth.

  • Judith ReynoldsJudith Reynolds - Secretary

    I have lived in the Ottery area since 1981.  I was a Teacher at Clyst Vale Community College, Broadclyst for 29 years (teaching Geography, being Head of Year and also Assistant Principal) and subsequently Clerk to Ottery St Mary Town Council for 8½ years, retiring last June.

    As teacher I organised and led a successful school handbell ringing team which performed in venues all over England and which, as a result of considerable fund-raising, I took on 3 occasions to America and Canada. 

    As Town Clerk I was responsible for advising the Council and effecting the decisions it made as well as administering its services and properties.

    I am married to Wilfred, a retired Police Officer. 

    I am Choir Director and a bell ringer at Ottery St Mary Parish Church.

  • Roger ChambersRoger Chambers

    I have spent most of my working life as a Project Engineering Manager in the Food Industry building factories and putting in the plant and machinery for production.

    I semi-retired 20 years ago and had a small boarding kennel with my wife where we also lived “the Good Life” with sheep, goats, chickens, bees and all our own fruit and veg.

    We fully retired and moved down to Aylesbeare in 2007 because of my wife's health and started driving for the Help Scheme in 2008

    My main interests are dogs, (we bred and showed the Stonemill Cocker Spaniels for over 40 years) sea fishing and I like to try and play the saxophone and clarinet (badly). I enjoy photography and computers. I am also an active member of Devon & Cornwall 4 x 4 Response and a Trustee of the new Ottery Station Charity.

    I became a Trustee at the AGM in 2011. I had cared for my wife for several years with alzheimer’s and felt I wanted to give something back to the community.

    I became Secretary of the Board of Trustees in August 2011 and retired from this post in May 2016. I continue to be a Board Trustee and generally try to help out with IT, Driving and in any other way that I can.

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • John Harding

    My wife and I retired to Devon nine years ago. A working life in the electronics industry revolved around airports, flying around the world selling integrated circuits to Japan, Taiwan, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, all over Europe and the US. It gave me little time to give back anything to the areas and people where I lived. I made the commitment when I moved to Tipton to change that.

    Within nine months of arriving I became a Parish Councillor for Tipton St John and did two terms as a Councillor. In addition I also worked on opposing the Post Office closure, the three planning applications made by Devonshire Homes and all the planning applications for Barton Orchard. I had the Tipton St John road signs installed; worked with the Environment Agency on the wall-raising by the telephone box; with South West Rivers Trust and Clinton Devon Estates on Himalayan Balsam pulling and with Devon County Council, BT and Connecting Devon and Somerset on Superfast Broadband.

    I worked on too many committees to mention for the Town Council but a key one was the purchase by the council of the Station building from which The Help Scheme now operates. I also organised funding for the refurbishment work at The Station which the council needed to do.

    A key committee I did sit on was the Finance and General Purposes Committee and in my last year at the council I was Chairman of that committee and hence Council Treasurer.

    I was responsible for funding. I obtained finance from The Big Lottery for gazebos which the council used as part of the Street Market and from Sport England money for a ride-on mower for the Strawberry Lane Complex. Funding was obtained from South West Water for tables and from Western Power for roof Insulation. I set in motion the group which assisted the football club to obtain money from Redrow Homes and I used my funding knowledge to advise a number of local groups where and how to obtain funding for their projects, several of whom have had successful outcomes.

    In May this year I did not apply to be re-elected as a Parish Councillor - I needed time to work on my own projects - yet I still wish to give time to outside projects albeit not with the intensity I had at the Council.

    I believe that working as a trustee for the Ottery Help Scheme does that. I have the experience of finance and funding and would be pleased to use that knowledge to assist.

  • Jill DuddingJill Dudding

    I have lived in Ottery St Mary since 1985 when we moved to the town with our then 18 month old daughter. Subsequently we had a 2 further children; a son and daughter all who attended Ottery Primary School and Kings School prior to developing their own professional careers.

    My own career as an Occupational Therapist commenced back in the mid-seventies when I first worked, post qualification with adults with acute mental illness prior to 12 very exciting years in a position in a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric unit which sadly was cut in the nineties.

    From here juggling the balance of career and family life I moved to a temporary post to cover maternity leave to a role in Sidmouth supporting those with Dementia related illnesses.

    After the birth of our third child I moved in a very part time role to a new area of work as an OT in special education at what was then called the West of England School and College for young people with little or no sight, now referred to as WESC Foundation.

    My career path developed significantly within this organisation through the years; taking on the lead for all therapies to managing all the health professional and subsequently being active in the transition of young people into the community on completion of formal education as well as a significant role in the introduction of the Education Health and Care Plans.

    I have been actively involved in the community, participating in the PTA’s of both schools attended by our children to being Brown Owl for many years. Latterly, while working in a very full time role my involvement in the local community had taken second place. Since ceasing full-time employment last Autumn, I am now in a position to be an active grandparent for our families in Bristol and Oxford and would like again to utilise some of my skills to support the local community.

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