Marcus Robinson

2nd December 2005 at 00:00
When Jill Robey, headteacher of Eastglade primary and nursery school, advertised for a site manager, she was looking for someone to keep the school's extensive grounds tidy and who was handy with a screwdriver for the odd job inside.

Nearly 10 years later, Marcus Robinson has more than met the job description. One of his first tasks at the Nottingham school was to fit a door where a curtain had been hanging (he had to build a wall to put it in first) and he has been exceeding expectations ever since.

The school's three buildings have been "lovingly repaired, redecorated, refurbished and, in some areas, rebuilt", says Jill, who nominated him for our flowers, chocolate and champagne. "Shelves go up by magic, cupboards and storage units are made overnight, footballs and shoes fetched off the roof. Nothing is too much trouble."

Marcus's colour schemes are as cheerful as the man himself, with pastel blue, yellow and green shades brightening up corridors and classrooms.

"Our school is a fantastic place to work and learn and is respected by everyone. Vandalism and graffiti are virtually non-existent thanks to his care and commitment."

Marcus's associations with Eastglade run deep. His parents were both governors, his wife Julia works there as a classroom assistant and their three children all went there. So when the school, with 130 pupils on roll but capacity for many more, was earmarked for closure under a city-wide reorganisation, Marcus prepared and presented the case for the school to remain open.

Sadly, it was to no avail, and Eastglade is now due to close in July 2007.

"Logically, we can see why it's happening, but actually managing it will be hard," says Jill Robey. "Marcus is understandably distraught. He takes real pride in the place and he has done so much work to make it bright and beautiful." Making Marcus a Friday Hero would go some way to showing their appreciation, she adds. "Everybody at the school loves him to bits."

Heroes are out there, but we need you to reveal them in all their glory.

Think of the person in your school - teacher, classroom assistant, governor, cook - who always goes the extra mile. Then tell us about them in a letter or email to Sarah Bayliss at the address on the left. Go on, they deserve recognition. (Flowers kindly supplied by Marks Spencer)

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