A SAFEGUARDING officer at a school in Kendray who ‘put her students first’ during lockdown has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award for delivering school meal vouchers.

Susan Galley, from Birdwell, has been recognised for her selflessness when schools were forced to close amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The 54-year-old, who has worked at The Forest Academy for more than 12 years, worked throughout the lockdown visiting pupils, delivering free school meal vouchers and welfare checks.

Susan believes it’s all in a day’s work and that it was important to offer additional support to families during lockdown.

She said: “I’ve pretty much been working non-stop, even during the lockdown.

“In my job, I develop quite a motherly role with the pupils so I wanted to do my bit to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“I live on my own so it was good for me to get out and do my bit, but everyday I missed being with the great kids at our school.”

Susan has been praised by parents who have appreciated her welfare checks during a time when they were most needed.

“I absolutely love the parents at our school who are, in some way, the backbone of our community.

“I wanted to make sure I was doing as much as I could to support families which is why I thought the food vouchers were so important.

“On our first day back for the new term, I had one little girl come up to me with a box of chocolates calling me her ‘lockdown hero’ and it brought a tear to my eye. That’s what it’s all about for me to help others.”

Susan’s tireless efforts have bagged for a nomination as Children’s Champion at this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.

“I’m really chuffed to be recognised like this, it’s something I never expected.

“I’ve worked at this school for 12 years and I love it just as much now as when I first started. The children are fantastic.

“To be nominated, especially this year, has made me very emotional. Thank you for everyone’s support.”