North Waltham Primary School volunteer Maud Hobbs given surprise party

Maud Hobbs at her surprise party at North Waltham Primary School

Maud Hobbs at her surprise party at North Waltham Primary School

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

A NORTH Waltham grandmother, who has dedicated years to helping schoolchildren, was the guest of honour at a very special surprise party.

Maud Hobbs turned up as normal to North Waltham Primary School, in Steventon Road, where she has volunteered two days a week for the past 19 years.

But as she helped to hand out end-of-term prizes, the grandmother-of-seven noticed members of her family, from Devon, were in the back of the hall.

Later, she sat on a throne while schoolchildren bowed and curtseyed in front of her before singing to her. She also received a large blue pot of begonias as a present.

As reported in The Gazette, Mrs Hobbs was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List in January.

She said: “I went to the garden party at Buckingham Palace, but the event at the school was something else. It blew me away and I could not take it all in.

“It was such a wonderful day. I do not know how the children kept it all a secret because the little ones had made all of these hats and I had not seen a thing.”

The surprise party was organised by staff, including headteacher Jeff Maidment. He has previously told The Gazette: “All schools should have a ‘Mrs Hobbs’. She undertakes a variety of tasks including supporting children who are sometimes less engaged in their learning than their peers.

“Mrs Hobbs is an absolute gem and when she gives her first-hand accounts of what life was like during the war, the children are totally captivated. Quite rightly, she is held in extremely high regard by all – pupils, parents, staff and governors.”

Mrs Hobbs will return to the school next week for the beginning of the new academic year.

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