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A new MP with a wealth of real life experience. Find out more about what inspires and drives Caroline.

Journalist, Charity CEO & former MEP 

Caroline Voaden is the new MP for the South Devon constituency.

She formerly worked as a charity CEO and was the last leader of the Liberal Democrat party in the European Parliament.

She has lived in Totnes with her husband Stuart for 12 years. Her two daughters, who grew up here and attended local schools, now live and work in London. 

Elected as an MEP for SW England and Gibraltar in May 2019, Caroline was later voted in as leader of the Lib Dem group until they left the Parliament in January 2020 because of Brexit.

She was a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety and Vice Chair of the EU Delegation for Relations with the Arab Peninsula. 

 
Caroline making her last speech in the E

Caroline has a wealth of real-world experience. Caroline worked as a Reuters journalist for a decade. She then became a freelance editor and later ran her own business in Totnes. Her experience of running a small business on a traditional high street and competing against online shopping giants gave Caroline a gritty understanding of the pressures faced by those running small businesses in a rural community.Her work as a journalist led her to live in six European countries, and she speaks several languages. Caroline worked in both English and French in the European Parliament.​Caroline has been involved in several charities. She was voluntary Chair of Widowed and Young after losing her first husband, and more recently worked as Operations Manager for Landworks, a groundbreaking rehabilitation charity for prisoners near Totnes.She was, until most recently, the Chief Executive of Devon's largest provider of support to survivors of sexual violence and abuse, Devon Rape Crisis & Sexual Abuse Services.

What Caroline will fight for

  • Water - Restructuring our water industry and prioritising environment over profit

  • Nature - protecting nature and enhancing biodiversity - I want to see South Devon alive with insects, birds, flora and fauna - and supporting farmers along the way
  • Dentistry - we need a new NHS contract 
  • Mental health services for young people - education, prevention and cure 
  • Addressing the cost of living crisis and supporting local organisations who are helping those most affected
  • A ceasefire in Gaza - I will continue to join my party in calling strongly for this
  • Repairing our relationship with the EU. 
European Parliament MEP

Caroline being applauded by MEP colleagues after making her last speech in the European Parliament.

Widowed and Young

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Caroline was widowed at 34 in 2003, when her first husband Nick died of oesophageal cancer. Their girls were 17 months and 3 years old.

She joined, and was later elected, chair of a national charity that supports young widowed men and women – WAY, Widowed and Young.

Caroline is only too aware of the long-term effects that illness and bereavement have on the wider family, from the impact on mental health, to loss of income, complicated support and benefits systems and the challenges of being a lone parent. Caroline raised her girls alone for nine years following Nick's death.

She has first-hand experience of the exemplary care offered by the NHS and the vital support given by charities like MacMillan and Marie Curie.

Caroline has written a book about her experience, ‘If there’s anything I can do…‘. 

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