Gosport dinner lady retires 'full of pride' after more than 30 years of service to Bridgemary School

AFTER more than three decades of service, a much-loved dinner lady at a school in Gosport is retiring, with the school surprising her with farewell gifts delayed because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

By Richard Lemmer
Thursday, 15th October 2020, 8:38 am
Updated Thursday, 15th October 2020, 10:14 am

Sue McIntosh, who lives in Bridgemary, was presented with flowers and gifts by staff, with the deputy head teacher saying she will be sorely missed.

Deputy head teacher Jo Ford said: ‘I have been here nearly 18 years and in that time, Sue has been the face of the school canteen.

It will be a completely different place without her – it will be a massive change.

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Bridgemary School dinner lady Sue McIntosh is retiring after more than 30 years

‘I know it is not always the easiest job but Sue has always been an incredible asset.’

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With more than half of the school’s 750 pupils eligible for free school meals, the deputy head emphasised Sue’s importance in providing a vital service for hundreds of children.

The former catering worker said she feels ‘very proud’ of her work to support children throughout the years – and she plans to continue to help the community even in retirement.

Callum Underwood, catering manager at Bridgemary School, with retiring staff member Sue McIntosh.

The 64-year-old said: ‘I want to do some voluntary work when the pandemic is over.

‘But I also plan to do lots of walking and gardening and enjoying my time.’

The school’s catering manager, Callum Underwood, paid tribute to the hard working team member – who went from serving him dinners when he was a student at the school to helping him learn the ropes when he joined as a staff member.

He said: ‘We want to say a massive thank you for everything Sue has done for us over the years.

‘It has helped tremendously – words can’t explain.’

Covid-19 restrictions around social distancing have temporarily stopped the school from offering cooked meals, but the school’s catering team is working to resume a normal service.

Senior staff member Jo said: ‘Callum and the team have been putting on packed lunches and they have done a fantastic job.

‘We are changing the school day to ensure pupils have access to cooked meals.

‘We have huge number of pupils who take free school meals so it’s a massive part of the service the school provides to the community.’

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