Comet Community Awards: My teacher is a my hero – he saved my life

Alistair Holmes has been nominated for Teacher of the Year.

Alistair Holmes has been nominated for Teacher of the Year. - Credit: Archant

A teacher who inspires pupils and has been described as a ‘hero’ is the latest to be nominated in this year’s Comet Community Awards, which provide an opportunity to recognise those who have gone the extra mile for others.

Dad-of-two Alastair Holmes lives in Hitchin and teaches computer science at Letchworth’s Highfield School. One of his pupils nominated Mr Holmes for the Teacher of the Year category – with a glowing testimonial about the teacher.

Not only has Mr Holmes helped them to gain the grades they need to get a place at her first choice university – as well as doing the same with the whole of the year group – they says he is happy to help everyone, showing he’s a great teacher who cares about his students.

The pupil who, due to their personal circumstances preferred to remain anonymous, said: “I have tackled a few challenging events throughout my childhood, and for many years kept this to myself. But last year I decided to tell someone as I was getting depressed, and was diagnosed with severe anxiety.

“I turned to Mr Holmes, who didn’t judge me. Since then he has helped me with my mental health and made sure every day was an OK day.”

But one night the pupil realised how remarkable Mr Holmes really is.

They explained: “I was in such a dark place where everything around me felt against me. I had planned on taking my own life that night.

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“I sent Mr Holmes an email thanking him for everything he had done for me. As soon as he saw my email he called the police, called staff at the school and made sure I was taken to A&E immediately.

“On that night not only did he remind me that people do care in this sometimes daunting world, but he also saved my life.

“He is the reason I am here today – and for that he is the best teacher I have ever had, and my hero.”

Mr Holmes told the Comet: “My tutor group are a fascinating bunch. I think you have to have a lot of patience and you’ve got to be fascinated by your subject. You’ve got to care about what you do.

“I try to help because as a father I’d like to think someone would be there to help my kids if they needed help.”