Opinion

A much-loved teacher who helped so many young lives

Many of us wonder what legacy we’re leaving. When our time is up and we shuffle off this mortal coil, will we be remembered? And if we are, what for?

Littlehaven Infant School has been celebrating the life of a much loved teacher who sadly died last term. Donna Andersson, deputy headteacher at the school, has left an extraordinary legacy. Having worked at Littlehaven for 15 years, Mrs Andersson has touched the lives of hundreds of children and their families.

My own memory of Mrs Andersson is exceedingly fond. She was acting headteacher when I first went to look around the school. It was Mrs Andersson who took the time to show me around, taking me into all the classrooms and explaining how the school held core values that had been selected by the children. It was Mrs Andersson’s warmth and friendliness that helped me to know that it was the school I wanted my children to go to.

The staff she leaves behind at the school all speak of her passion for teaching and the children she taught and of her commitment to her job and to the school.

The number of people who squeezed into the school hall for the memorial service in tribute to Mrs Andersson was testament to how much she was loved.

Before she died, Mrs Andersson expressed a wish that an unused outdoor area at the school be transformed into a comfortable, inspiring space for teachers, helpers and governors to be able to work and rest. She wanted a table and chairs, a sunshade and lots and lots of flowers.

In order to fulfil Mrs Andersson’s wishes, the school has been raising money in her memory.

This month, Waitrose in Horsham is donating to Donna Andersson’s memorial fund through its Community Matters scheme. Regular Waitrose shoppers will be familiar with the green tokens handed to customers at the checkout. Each month, Waitrose splits £1,000 between three local good causes. Shoppers can vote for their preferred charity by choosing which of the three boxes they put their token in.

While there is only a week left of May, it’s not too late to help make a difference. If you are shopping in Waitrose, please put your green token in the box to raise funds for Mrs Andersson’s garden. Staff and parents at the school are very keen to honour their beloved friend by creating a space she could be proud of. Many have already volunteered their time and skills to carry out the manual labouring work, all that’s needed is the money to buy the materials.

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