‘Amazing’ Joan, 91, thanked for her volunteering

WHEN they retire, most people are more than happy to put their feet up and enjoy life away from the workplace. But one woman decided to take a different route by volunteering at a Hitchin school for the best part of 15 years.

Ninety-one-year-old Joan Williams dedicated her free time twice a week, listening to pupils read at Purwell Primary School.

The former Letchworth Grammar School and Hitchin Girls’ School teacher has just stepped down from the role, with the occasion marked at the school’s harvest festival assembly.

Year 6 teacher Kim Kerr-Barr told The Comet: “We just thought that because she had worked such a long time on a voluntary basis and benefited so many children, it would be nice to recognise that.

“There will be people now all grown up who would have Miss Williams to thank for helping them out.

“She was presented with a bunch of flowers and a scrap book of letters and pictures which had been made by the pupils to say a personal thank you for all of her efforts, commitment and enjoyment she has given.”

Miss Williams’ appointment came about when she came into the school to return a harvest box which had been donated to her.

Most Read

“She brought a box into the school and said it had been mistakenly given to her - she said it should be given to an older person,” said headteacher Richard Cano.

“She then said she used to be a teacher and asked if she could volunteer in any way. Reading was the most obvious. She’s very modest - it’s a lovely thing she did. She’s such a nice lady.

“It was amazing at the assembly, because one of the grandmothers came to watch her grandson, and recognised her as her old history teacher. She went and chatted to her, and was recognised.”

Is Miss Williams Comet country’s oldest volunteer? If you know someone older, contact us at editorial@thecomet.net

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter