A learning support assistant at Heathlands School Wins June’s Maltings Community Hero Award

A learning support assistant at Heathlands School in St Albans has received the Maltings Community Award for June.

Neal Jordan-Caws from St Albans, serves on the deaf children school’s parent-teacher association and also volunteers for the after-school football club, which is run in collaboration with St Albans City Deaf Youth FC.

The nomination form for Neal, who himself is deaf, reads: “Every school would want a person like Neal.

“He is one of those thoroughly nice people who can never do enough to help. A fantastic colleague, friend and inspiration to the children.

“He spends his own time making resources, calming explaining issues if children are upset and always puts the children first.

“Neal is the first to volunteer whenever extra help is needed.

“He never says ‘no’ and has an exceptional ability to keep cheerful in all circumstances, which boosts the morale of the whole staff team.

“Neal must be exhausted because he is always running.

“He runs between parenting duties for his own children, work, voluntary help with after school clubs, driving the minibus, persuading others to help the PTA and baking his own bread.

“Neal’s ability to squeeze the most benefit out of his time is legendary. Neal gives his time generously and is 100 per cent committed, but is always busy – we don’t know when he rests and it is not unusual to get a late night email.”

The father-of-four also helped run the sausage sizzle stand at Bunnings two years in a row and drove some children to the Manchester City training ground to take part in a national tournament for deaf children.

On top of that, he is helping run the Heathlands School Summer Fete on Saturday, July 7, which is running between 12pm and 4pm.

Neal said: “Heathlands Children live quite far away so it’s difficult because of the time it takes them to get here.”

Some of the children live in as far-flung locations as Great Yarmouth and one comes from Wales at 2am on a Monday and stays the week.

Neal intends to spend the £100 voucher he was given with the award in Fat Face.

Of the commendation, he said: “This is a surprise as I had no idea. I am very proud.”

“It is always a pleasure to present this award each month”, commented Phil Corrigan, Maltings Centre Manager, “we are always in awe of the selfless and dedicated people we meet – Neal you really do deserve to be recognised – congratulations!”