But she does much more than a daily dinner duty. Headteacher Ray Norman says every school should have a Phyllis. "She's just one of those incredibly nice people who's always cheerful, who always offers to lend a hand and who really cares about the children. She does so much but she tells us she gets as much out of it as we do. She's super."
Phyllis started work at the school about 10 years ago, when her granddaughter was a pupil. At first she was involved with the juniors but there's been an amalgamation since then and the school is now a 500-strong five-to-11 primary in the centre of old Swindon. Her involvement has grown so that now she hears children read, helps them do cooking and accompanies them on school trips. She also goes on the bus on Tuesdays, when some Year 2s and Year 3s go swimming at the local baths. Mr Norman says such time-consuming activities have been pared to the bone, but the school keeps some swimming going. "We'd love to do more but it's all about time. And we definitely couldn't manage without someone like Phyllis stepping in."
Year 6 teacher Jo Garton, who recently moved to another Swindon primary, nominated Phyllis for our flowers, champagne and chocolates, saying she deserved a treat and some public recognition. "She keeps everyone's morale up and always makes time for adults and children." Jo Garton says that when she suggested in the staffroom that Phyllis should be a Friday Hero the cry went up: "Why haven't we nominated her before?" Why indeed.
Send the name of your Friday Hero to Sarah Bayliss, Friday, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer