Former Ross Mayor, Jane Roberts, was presented with the British Empire Medal (BEM) that she was awarded in recognition of her work for the community.

She spearheaded much of the work that the Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust (CDT) carried out during the pandemic. In her acceptence speech Jane acknowledged that the success of the trust’s work had been down to the huge support it had received from community groups and volunteers and she was accepting the award on behalf of them all.

The medal was offically awarded in the new year’s honours list, but the ceremony was held in the Ross Community Garden, followed by a picnic afterwards (August 28).

She told the Gazette: “I accepted the medal, but I was accepting it as a recognition of a response that the whole community to the response to the 2020 pandemic and lockdown.”

Jane is chair of the Ross CDT and was instrumental is setting it up in 2019. She has been a Liberal Democrat town councillor since 2007 and was mayor 2019/20.

Current mayor of Ross, Ed O’Driscoll gave a speech at the event, he said: “I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of getting to know Jane over the last four years and I honestly cannot think of more worthy recipient of this honour. She works tirelessly for our community freely giving her time, energy and enthusiasm. She cares passionately and Ross is a better place because she lives here. Thank you Jane.”

Seeing the news from Wuhan and Italy, Jane started preparing for lockdown in February 2020 so that when lockdown was announced plans were in place and volunteers lined up to maintain shopping and prescription deliveries, as well as making welfare calls to the vulnerable. This vital service was truly appreciated by the entire town.

When elected onto Ross Town Council in 2007, one of Jane’s first resolutions was to formalise the Ross-Namutumba twinning link.

Approaching retirement from the Open University in 2018, Jane was looking for a new project. When she was elected mayor in 2019 she had already pulled together a steering committee and applied to establish Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust as a registered charity with the aim of sustaining and growing meaningful connections and a sense of belonging. The CDT is the mayoral charity nominated by the current mayor.