Council worker died in fall

TRIBUTES have been paid today to a council worker who died after falling from the Orwell bridge.Graham Palmer, 55, of Withersfield Road, Haverhill, fell to his death on April 29.

TRIBUTES have been paid today to a council worker who died after falling from the Orwell bridge.

Graham Palmer, 55, of Withersfield Road, Haverhill, fell to his death on April 29.

Mr Palmer worked as a community education officer for Suffolk County Council.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned for a full hearing will take place later in the year.


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Since 1975, Mr Palmer had been employed in full-time youth work, first with Hereford and Worcester County Council and, since 1979, with Suffolk County Council.

As an officer within Suffolk's Community Education Service, he was responsible for managing youth clubs in Haverhill and Newmarket before, in 1999, taking on the role of county co-ordinator for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

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In recent years Graham took an active role in international youth work, co-ordinating the Suffolk - West Flanders youth exchange.

He was also involved in the development of Suffolk County Council's campsite and outdoor activity base at Thorpe Woodlands near Thetford. However, it is for his work with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award that Graham will be best remembered.

A council spokesman said: "In this role he committed himself to promoting high standards in all aspects of the Scheme, always aiming for the best for Suffolk young people as they progressed through their Awards.

"Graham recognised clearly that the skills and dedication of adult leaders involved in the Award are critical to its success.

"He devoted much of his energy to the County's Award Leader training programmes, and in particular, was instrumental in developing the young leader training programme for Gold Award participants.

"Graham gave priority to nurturing and supporting new adult leaders, and will be remembered by all involved in the Scheme for his good-humoured and caring approach.

"He gained great pleasure from celebrating the achievements of young people in the Award at all levels.

"The current strength of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award in Suffolk is a testimony to the impact of Graham's work. He will be sadly missed," the spokesman added.

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