Friday Hero

7th March 2003 at 00:00
Christine Griffin is a dinner lady, classroom assistant and permanent volunteer helper at West Melton junior school, Rotherham

Christine started as a parent helper when her own children were at the school and gradually took on paid jobs. Now she has grandchildren there and often steps in to ease a crisis - like when the school secretary was off sick for half a term. She's got a big heart and puts in a full week's work even though much of her time is voluntary.

"She did the dinner books for weeks and made a fantastic job of it," says headteacher Ingrid House, who nominated Christine for our flowers, champagne and chocolates. Ms House says she is "amazed" at the way Christine throws herself wholeheartedly into everything. "Nothing is too much trouble. If a job needs doing, she does it with no fuss."

The school serves a former mining community in the old West Riding - an area that's undergone huge change in the past 20 years. The pits where the 1984 miners' strike began are long closed and while some families have stayed the population is more mobile than ever. Christine is not from Yorkshire, but she's one of the longest serving staff at the school.

"I introduce her to the new children as Grandma Griffin because she's kind and caring and that's what it's all about. She's sensible and level-headed and they respect her. We think she's wonderful."

The school, which has 150 children aged seven to 11, recently opened a fund-raising tuck shop run by Christine and a parent. "You'd have to go a long way to find a better friend to our school," says Ingrid House.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today