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Friday Hero

Julie Askew is the cleaner in charge - and many other things - at Broughton primary school near Cockermouth in Cumbria. She is a brilliant example of how a school community can develop the lives of adults as well as children.

Julie joined the school when her own children were pupils and it was obvious from the start that she was a great asset - friendly, capable and willing to turn her hand to anything. She became a school governor at this 160-strong village primary and the volunteer organiser of a mother and toddler group.

But it is her grasp of ICT that's especially exciting. Cumbrian Credits is a county-wide scheme helping adults as well as pupils develop ICT skills, and Julie was a fast learner. Beginning with a course called Computers for the Terrified, she graduated to an NVQ level 2, and next term starts NVQ level 3 in ICT. All this happens on the school site, where everyone aged three to 80 learns to use computers in the classrooms and from a newly equipped "telecottage".

In September, Julie starts another new job as an ICT tutor on Broughton's community education programme. She's already had great success doing PR for it, encouraging other mums, dads, uncles and grannies to take a course. "Her enthusiasm is infectious and we all think the world of her," says headteacher Karen Atkinson, who nominated Julie for our flowers, champagne and chocolates.

It's a farewell thank you from Karen, who's leaving to be an adviser and who takes happy memories with her. She says: "Julie wears so many different hats and will never see the school stuck for anything - she always offers to help."

Send the name of your Friday Hero to Sarah Bayliss, Friday, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX, or email Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer

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