Hats off to Charmaine Caruana, assistant caretaker at Copnor Primary School, for dedication above and beyond the call of duty.
Charmaine, who has been presented with an Unsung Hero gong at the Teach Portsmouth Awards, could teach us all a thing or two about going the extra mile to get things done.
When she heard that Ofsted inspectors were due to visit the school, she knew at once what she had to do, even though she was crocked with a broken arm.
Headteacher Doug Bawley was resigned to his premises not being in tip-top condition when the inspectors called, and told determined Charmaine it would contravene health and safety regulations for her to do as she wanted and get out her mop and bucket to work her one-armed magic.
Undeterred, Charmaine, like a domesticised Bruce Willis in a Die Hard movie, sneaked in after hours and cleaned the classrooms from top to bottom.
Of course health and safety rules are there for a reason – and nobody should be expected to work if they are ill or injured. But Charmaine takes such pride in her work that she would not let minor obstacles like red tape or a broken limb deter her from going into action.
Those Ofsted people would not find fault with cleanliness at Copnor Primary. Not on her watch.
To his credit, rather than reprimanding Charmaine for her minor misdemeanour, Mr Bawley praised her to the skies and put her forward for the award: ‘She is truly one of the world’s great unsung heroes. She is a human dynamo with the strength of 10 people.’
Charmaine and all the other recipients at the Teach Portsmouth Awards should take a moment to relish their well-deserved glory,
And the rest of us, as we relax and recharge our batteries this weekend, would do well to take a leaf out of Charmaine’s book come Monday morning.