Equipping for Life for a better future

Helen Morrow: Volunteer Tutor in Springhill School

Helen has volunteered as a tutor at Springhill Primary School since September 2019. On many occasions, she has to make the journey by public transport from Lisburn, demonstrating her tremendous commitment to the role.

Helen has always lived in Lisburn and attended Wallace High School before working as a librarian, where she had particular responsibility for the children's section. She then moved to the Civil Service where she worked for 35 years before retiring about four years ago. Early on, part of this time, was spent in Snugville Street (Shankill) in a front-facing role in Social Security where, in spite of the inevitable challenges, she maintained a good relationship with her clients and remembers all the great fun and laughs she had. In hindsight, she wonders why she ever left there.

Helen has four children, seven grandchildren and one great grandson and firmly believes that children ‘should be encouraged to enjoy reading for its own sake’. She has always been an enthusiastic reader herself from her early days when she enjoyed Enid Blyton books and then all the classics, to a very varied range now—she is currently reading David Cameron’s autobiography. Knitting and gardening are some of her other main hobbies/interests. Helen also has an ‘Arsenal Room’ in her home which may come as a surprise to some. She is an avid supporter of the ‘Gunners’ and recounts fondly her attendances and singing from the North Bank at Highbury, where the atmosphere was fantastic. She saw the last game played there and also the first game at the Emirates Stadium.

Like so many of the tutors, Helen heard Brother David speaking at St. Paul’s in Lisburn and decided this was just the volunteering opportunity she had been looking for. In view of her background, experience, sense of humour and personality, she’s right and I can see each week that the children Helen tutors could not agree more. She thinks they are brilliant too.

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Helen with her grandson David and, in the middle, Gunnersaurus (the Arsenal FC mascot)

Equipping for Life, Helen Morrow