Popular Edith calls time on career

WATCHING a child transform from an unruly toddler into a polite year six pupil has been one of Edith Abbott's great joys in life.

WATCHING a child transform from an unruly toddler into a polite year six pupil has been one of Edith Abbott's great joys in life.

But after 29 years of working with children, the 65-year-old shed a tearful goodbye on her final day as a classroom assistant at Springfield Junior School in Kitchener Road.

Mrs Abbott, of Norwich Road, began helping out voluntarily as a parent at St Thomas's Playgroup in Bramford Lane, Ipswich, in 1978 when her daughter Sarah was three.

She then became a supervisor in 1985 - a role she sustained until her retirement in 2002.

During this time, she also became a governor at the Springfield Infants School, in Wesley Way, when her children Sarah, now 31, and Samantha, now 28, attended, and in 1991 began helping at the junior school when they moved there.

She said: “I just enjoy being involved in the schools. I like seeing the older children perform on the stage as I think to myself that I knew them when they were three-years-old and didn't want to leave mum. I love being a part of their lives.

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“It will be a big step but I think the time has come to leave. I am 65 now so I have been thinking about retiring but it has been a big decision.”

In her role as teaching assistant at the junior school, Mrs Abbott helped children with maths and literacy, and assisted group outings and concert rehearsals.

As part of her send off, she was presented with gifts at a special assembly and a tea party was held in her honour.

She added: “I am looking forward to relaxing a bit. I just love my garden so I will be spending some time there.

“But I will miss the staff and children very much.”

Do you know someone retiring after years of service? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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