Terry Parfitt

11th February 2005 at 00:00
Community spirit is the lifeblood of places such as Abersychan, a small village along the valley from Pontypool in south Wales. Terry Parfitt has it in spades.

Terry was a volunteer youth worker for 22 years and for the past six years he has been caretaker of Victoria primary school in the village.

But looking after the upkeep of the 102-year-old school is more than just a job to Terry. "It's his life," says headteacher Joy Dando. "He's incredible - very, very dedicated and he absolutely loves children. Everything he does is for them. He's the most unselfish man I have met."

He is also "very creative and very practical", says Ms Dando, who nominated him for our flowers, chocolate and champagne. He organised the construction of a huge mosaic to celebrate the school's centenary, his homemade 3D wooden characters from the Oxford Reading Tree books now decorate corridors, and a handcrafted mural has pride of place in the music room.

His previous job as a data manager for the Royal Ordnance has also been put to good use. He designed and maintains the school's website and doubles as the IT technician, helping staff and pupils alike become computer-literate and coming in to fix problems at the drop of a hat.

Just a term after arriving at the school, Ms Dando has been hugely impressed by Terry's kindness and co-operative spirit.

"The relationship Terry has with the community is superb," she says. "He is always helping other people, just because he wants them to be happy.

"If he wasn't here there would be a big gaping hole in the school," she adds. "It's not just a job to him; every minute of every day he is thinking of things for the school. His contribution is never ending."

Is there an unsung hero in your school? Tell Sarah Bayliss, TESFriday editor, about him or her at the address opposite. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks Spencer

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