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Tributes paid to former teacher who will be 'greatly missed' by community she helped build

Tributes have been paid to Jan Godfrey. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Tributes have been paid to Jan Godfrey. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Tributes have been paid to a community hero and former teacher who went above and beyond to raise the profile of Watton and Mid-Norfolk.

In 2015 Mrs Godfrey was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pride in Breckland Awards. Picture: Matthew Usher.In 2015 Mrs Godfrey was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pride in Breckland Awards. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Jan Godfrey, 80, from Carbrooke, died on Sunday, July 14 after a battle with illness.

She was the chairman of The Wayland Partnership and worked with a team of trustees, staff and volunteers raising more than £3m to help regenerate the Wayland area and bring together the town of Watton with its surrounding hinterland parishes.

Using European funding, in 1998 Mrs Godfrey helped build the successful partnership which promotes the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of the Wayland area.

Many in Norfolk will remember her as their teacher while at Wayland Secondary Modern, now Wayland Academy, where she spent 35 years as a history, English and social studies teacher, before becoming head of English and then acting headteacher.

Thomas Cockman serves Jan Godfrey a cup of tea at a Wayland Academy coffee morning. Picture: Matthew Usher.Thomas Cockman serves Jan Godfrey a cup of tea at a Wayland Academy coffee morning. Picture: Matthew Usher.

In 2014 Mrs Godrey became an MBE for the work she did with young people living in the Wayland area.

At the time she said: "I am absolutely so passionate about rural living and helping young people.

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"I really want young people to feel they can develop and there are opportunities here."

Tributes have been paid by members of the community throughout Watton.

MP for Mid-Norfolk George Freeman said on Twitter: "Terribly sad news of the death this weekend of Jan Godfrey, a wonderful woman with a deep love of and commitment to her community.

"Jan had been behind most of what was best in Watton and Wayland, Mid-Norfolk, for several decades. Condolences to all her family."

Mayor of Watton, Pat Warwick, said: "So sorry to hear about the sad passing of Jan Godfrey. Jan did so much for Watton and Wayland, she worked so hard and tirelessly right to the end. You will be sorely missed Jan."

Breckland Council leader Sam Chapman-Allen said: "Jan was known to many as 'Mrs Watton', having dedicated many years of her life to various roles serving people in the town and surrounding areas.

"In recognition of her passion, enthusiasm and commitment to local communities, the council was delighted to award Jan a Lifetime Achievement Award at our 2015 Pride Awards, to sit alongside her much-deserved MBE.

"Jan's passing is a massive loss and she will be greatly missed."

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