Two new Deputy Lieutenants have been appointed to assist and support the Lord-Lieutenant in Somerset.

They are Brigadier Nigel Beacom QVRM TD VR DL, from Wedmore, and Justin Sargent OBE DL, from Ashwick.  They bring to 34 the number of Deputy Lieutenants in Somerset, spread over a wide geographic area.

Welcoming their appointments, which have been sanctioned by His Majesty The King, Somerset’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mohammed Saddiq, said:

Nigel and Justin bring wide and varied experience to the Lieutenancy in Somerset. They will do a great deal to encourage, support and celebrate the lives and achievements of people and voluntary organisations in our county – and that is what the Lieutenancy is about.

Brigadier Beacom said:

I feel honoured and privileged to be appointed a Deputy Lieutenant.  I am looking forward to doing what I can to support our communities in Somerset.

Mr Sargent commented:

It’s a great honour and it’s humbling. I am looking forward to working as part of the Lieutenancy to raise the profile of local charities and philanthropy in our county.

Deputy Lieutenants come from all walks of life. Their appointments often recognise distinguished service to the community, predominantly in a voluntary capacity.

Brigadier Nigel Beacom QVRM TD VR DL

Nigel Beacom is a retired military officer who dedicated 36 years of service to the Territorial Army, now known as the Army Reserve. Throughout his career, Nigel held various leadership positions, including serving as the Commanding Officer of 40th Signal Regiment, Deputy Commander 2 Signal Brigade, and Assistant Commander of Theatre Troops as a Brigadier. He also gained valuable experience working in the Army HQ and MOD main building in different capacities.

In recognition of his contributions to the Reserves, Nigel became the first Army recipient of the Queen’s Volunteer Reserves’ Medal (formerly known as the QVRM, now KVRM) in November 1999. He also had the honour of serving as an ADC (Aide-de-Camp) to the Queen from 2009 until his retirement in 2012.

In his civilian life, Nigel established and successfully ran a market research company with six offices across the UK. He later sold this business in 2012 and went on to set up another market research company in 2015, which now has offices in Bristol, Belfast, and Cardiff.

From 2016 to 2019, Nigel served as a member of the Independent Residents’ Panel of Avon and Somerset Police and is currently the Chair of the Wessex Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Somerset.

Nigel has been living in Wedmore since 1999 with his wife, Isobel, and their family dog. They have two adult sons, one living and working in Bath, while the other is based in Bristol.

Justin Sargent OBE DL

Justin has been CEO of Somerset Community Foundation since 2005, driving its growth and development as the leading vehicle for philanthropy in Somerset, and largest independent funder of local charities, community groups and social enterprises.

Each year the Foundation, which is based at the Bath and West Showground near Shepton Mallet, provides funding to hundreds of groups and organisations throughout the county. Justin was awarded an OBE in 2020 for services to the community of Somerset.

As a geographer, Justin is particularly interested in place-based philanthropy, and how statistics and maps can often disguise the harsher reality of life in rural communities.

He moved to Somerset from Lesotho in Southern Africa, where he had spent two years supporting the work of local NGOs working on food security, environmental issues and the HIV pandemic.

It was here he saw first-hand the power of community-led action to create positive and lasting change in people’s lives, but also the complex and multiple impacts of poverty.

Justin grew up in Kingsholm, Gloucester, and, having stood in ‘The Shed’ with his grandfather, father and brother from an early age, says he has Cherry and White in his veins. He is, however, also a keen supporter of Somerset County Cricket Club!

With his wife, Sally, he lives in the Mendips, raising their three children. He is also a trustee of The Nelson Trust, a charity with a strong presence in Somerset, supporting women to overcome addiction and other complex needs.

Brigadier Nigel Beacom QVRM TD VR with Lord-Lieutenant, Mohammed Saddiq (left) and Justin Sargent OBE with Lord-Lieutenant, Mohammed Saddiq (right).

About this article

December 11, 2023

Rebecca Howat

Press Release