Bouquet of the Week

3rd December 1999 at 00:00
If you're reading this in a Liverpool staffroom you'll probably recognise Ann Doran. Her name was sent in by staff and parents of Holly Lodge, a large comprehensive for girls, where she gives her all as a parent and governor. But her reputation for service to the community goes much wider than that.

For 21 years Ann taught in primary schools in the city. Then a horrific car crash ended her career. Ann was told she would never walk again, but after a long and painful recovery, she was inspired to help others. A disabled writers' group had started, encouraged by script writers from the Merseyside soap opera Brookside. Ann volunteered to be its driver. She made friends easily and the group went from strength to strength. One highlight was a play, Go Now, co-written by professional television script-writer Jimmy McGovern about the life of Paul Powell, a multiple sclerosis sufferer who was a founder member of the writers' group.

With renewed energy and enthusiasm Ann began to get involved in Holly Lodge, where her two daughters, Katherine and Caroline, were pupils. "I just wanted to be part of a school again," Ann says. "The teachers felt like colleagues and I knew I would enjoy helping them."

The PTA had disbanded but Ann helped set up a school community association, becoming its secretary and making a successful bid for a pound;22,000 minibus. Mary Kelso, assistant headteacher at Holly Lodge, says it's typical of Ann that she began to advise other schools on how to make similar bids. "Ann is compassionate, quick-witted and inclusive of everyone," says Mary Kelso. "It's people like her that put the heart into a school."

Recently Ann has become a governor ("They did nag me for a long time," she admits), and is closely involved in plans for an arts week next year. "She's very involved in the life of the city," says Mary Kelso, "and that is of great benefit to a school like ours."

This edition of Friday magazine is the last one of term, but please keep writing in about the special teachers, support staff and parents who make all the difference to your school. We'll be back on January 7 with lots of new ideas to help you start the new term feeling good.

Bouquet of the Week is given in association with Marks amp; Spencer. Names, please - and why - on a postcard to Sarah Bayliss, 'The TES', Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Or e-mail her at: sarah.bayliss@tes.co.uk

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