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Val Read

Val Read is a learning support assistant at St Michael's junior school in Aldershot, Hampshire Since October 1999, Val has worked alongside Kosovan refugee families. Her warm and friendly manner, combined with her tireless efforts, has made an enormous difference.

Jenny May, a peripatetic teacher, has nominated Val for this week's bouquet, champagne and chocolates, saying she has made families feel part of the community and "has reduced their sense of isolation". In school, she organises lunchtime games and helps at the after-school club, making cakes for birthdays. Out of school, se and her husband give their time generously. She has taken children to the doctor, distributed Christmas presents, organised holiday trips, collected furniture and fixed household appliances. "She helps them understand English customs by inviting them into her home," writes Jenny May." Her kindness is outstanding."

Please send the name of your Friday Hero - and why he or she should get our goodies - to Sarah Bayliss, Friday magazine, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX, or email

Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer

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