Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Angela Cares for Each Child She Meets'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Angela Cares for Each Child She Meets'

Article excerpt

A SCHOOL worker with a heart of gold who goes out of her way to help struggling Middlesbrough families improve their lives despite her own problems has been recognised with a Teesside Hero award. Mother-of-two Angela Barry started working at Caldicotes Primary Academy as a cleaner 18 years ago.

The 51-year-old is now director of safeguarding and wellbeing at the Thorntree school and goes the extra mile on a daily basis to help pupils and their families to enjoy a better quality of life.

Constantly battling to ensure those without food are fed, caring Angela is responsible for the school's impoverishment fund, which allows cash-strapped families to access help in paying their bills.

Her relentless commitment has also seen her put together Christmas hampers and run holiday clubs, provide food bank vouchers and complete weekly shops so children don't go hungry.

And she has put additional hours in to run parenting classes and help parents with literacy and numeracy problems, and provide advice on how to complete CVs.

Angela's hard work has now been recognised by charitable movement Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, with Lisa Preston of patrons Hunters Estate Agents paying her a surprise visit during a school day to present her with the award.

"I was speechless for once when I realised what was going on," she said. "It's very nice to be appreciated - I just want people to succeed and have a bit of a better life, and I do my best to try and help."

Angela takes great pride in her job and said she can relate to many of the problems that less fortunate families in her school's catchment area are experiencing.

"I know what some families have to deal with and the pressures they are under and the struggles that they have," said Angela.

"I've been through a lot of the same situations myself.

"I'm a single parent. …

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