Published 16 November 2012 – Isle of Thanet Gazette
LONG-SERVING June Langley has called it a day after years of volunteering at St Peter's junior school.
For the last ten years the 83-year-old retired BT worker has been a reader helper at the school, working with children, hearing them read and talking to them about their interests.
She also helped launch the St Peter's healthy schools initiative and would go shopping to buy the best value fruit which she prepared and displayed for the fruit break shop.
The children assisted June, from Broadstairs, which helped with their numeracy and communication skills.
Head teacher Sharon Irvine said: "What began as a 'little job' grew into a 15-hour weekly commitment from June, which as a school we have been extremely grateful for."
June – who received a trophy in the Kent Awards for Volunteering Excellence in 2009 – was given a fond farewell at a special assembly at St Peter's on Wednesday, October 25, when she was presented with a fitting present, a cut glass fruit bowl.
Staff from Asda, where she shopped daily for the fruit, were surprise visitors and presented her with a luxury hamper.
Mrs Irvine said: "We will miss June's daily visits. She has been a real character to have around and we wish her happiness in her retirement.
"She will always be a welcome visitor to St Peter's."
Its pioneering work with volunteers won St Peter's a top national award in 2009, when it became the first primary school in the country to be awarded the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard.
The award followed a rigorous assessment of best-practice standards which found St Peter's "excelled in all aspects" of working with its volunteers.
Mrs Irvine praised the input of the volunteers.
She said: "They bring an added dimension to the learning experience we offer our pupils. Their range of skills, knowledge and commitment is extraordinary."
The volunteers include scientists, musicians, artists, gardeners, motivational speakers plus those who help with reading, writing and maths.