Travelling long distance by road in Britain is an excellent way to really get to know what all of the buttons do in your car – the extra time courtesy of endless motorway closures and A-road blockages stretching from Calais to Glasgow.
But I was a man on a worthy mission. Nothing was going to stop me. The creeping traffic jams and endless diversions had met their match. Having set off at the crack of bird song, I arrived at Bramley Sunnyside Junior School, Rotheram, with almost an entire minute to spare before the unwitting award winner was shown into the full school assembly to receive her surprise award.
Head Teacher, Mrs Headleande, had entered the school’s Pastoral and Inclusion Mentor, Mrs Ashton, into the running to win the Community Education Award for her exemplary efforts in operating an open door policy for students requiring support in many different areas of school life.
The entire school had turned out to see Mrs Ashton receive the award, as had many members of her her family (my thanks to young relative who took the photo of me with Mrs Ashton and her award!).
Mrs Ashton shed a tear of gratitude to rapturous applause, and gave a short impromptu thank you speech. I was truly grateful to have been granted the opportunity to present this award, as I have learned that Mrs Ashton’s work is not only ongoing but expanding to find new ways of supporting year six pupils as they progress to high school. Mrs Ashton was gracious and humble in victory, and the weather even held out to provide a sunny backdrop to her award!
Congratulations once again to Mrs Ashton of Bramley Sunnyside, Rotheram!