A MUCH-LOVED school employee had one last wish before she died - to hear the school choir one last time.

Kathleen Allott, a popular school cleaner and cook, simply wanted to hear the voices of the children she had helped look after for the past 27 years.

That's exactly what happened.

A special CD was recorded for Kathleen and as she was in her bed, just days before she died from cancer at Barnsley Hospice, she tapped her foot in time with the music and smiled as she heard the young voices singing the songs and hymns she loved.

Her daughter, Nicola Hancock, admits she found it so moving the first time the music was played for Kathleen that she had to leave the room.

"It was very emotional and very very moving," she said. But she says her mum absolutely loved it and played the CD again and again.

Kathleen, 61, from Birkwood Avenue, Cudworth, had three jobs at Birkwood Primary. She cleaned in the mornings, helped to prepare lunch and went back hours later to clean again. She also attended all the school events and knew the name of every pupil and their parents.

She was diagnosed with lung cancer in November and went into Barnsley Hospice on April 5 - the day before her birthday.

At first, Birkwood Primary's staff wondered if they could take all the children to the hospice, but realised it was not a practical option.

However, when headteacher Julie Allen told school governor and We Are Barnsley DJ Tommy Taylor of her dilemma, he came up with the idea of recording the choir instead.