Unsung school hero honoured by charity

Laura Cook and James Chadwick with their award at Withinfields School, Southowram.
Laura Cook and James Chadwick with their award at Withinfields School, Southowram.

An unsung hero who has worked tirelessly to improve the lives and learning ability of young people at a Southowram school has been given a prestigious award.

James Chadwick, who works at Withinfields Primary School, has been presented with the Support Assistant Award 2016 by the Percival Whitley Educational Trust

Although he only joined the school as a new staff member in September 2015, his head teacher, Helen York, nominated him because of the massive contribution he has made to the pupils he has supported within a wide range of areas in such a relatively short space of time.

Leyland Smith, Chairman of the Percival Whitley Educational Trust said: “James has clearly made a huge difference to a number of pupils at Withinfields and is a wonderful example of the many unsung heroes in our primary schools who give of themselves selflessly every day to support children with learning difficulties. Trustees are delighted to recognise all that he does through this award.”

Headteacher, Helen York, describes James’ greatest asset as “his ability to see each day as a fresh start.

“On occasions, some of the children he supports may behave in a particularly challenging and unacceptable way, but the following day James will approach them with a smile and friendly manner enabling them to address any issues in an open and reflective way,” said Mrs York.

The best accolade, however, came from one of the children James has supported who said: “Mr Chadwick is kind and calm and cares about us. He gives of his own time and changes his schedule to fit in with us.

“He has helped me to think about and control my anger. He takes time to get to know us and plays games with us.”

Founded in 1991, the is a local charity providing educational grants within Calderdale to groups or individuals to help them achieve their goals in life.