Norfolk Catholic teacher hailed as local hero

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Norfolk Catholic teacher hailed as local hero

A Norfolk Catholic deputy headteacher has been acclaimed as a local hero for her support of a Ukrainian colleague during the hardest year of her life, following the Russian invasion of her country.

Deputy head at St Martha’s Primary school in King’s Lynn, Hayley Pink, was nominated for a Local Hero Award by school teaching assistant Tanya Mikulova for “the kindness, care, support and friendship she has given me during the hardest year of my life.”

“I am a British citizen originally from Ukraine and when the Russian invasion started in February, Hayley was the one who always stood by my side to help me get through all the nightmares and fears related to it,” said Tanya. “I suffered from severe depression, lost my ability to sleep which made me extremely ill and I couldn’t continue with my role as a teaching assistant. Every day Hayley cared about me and my mental health which encouraged me to think positive for the future of my family in Ukraine and take little steps at a time for my own recovery.”

Hayley, who has been a teacher for 30 years, was named the Teacher of the Year winner at the Local Hero Awards 2023 ceremony at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on Wednesday April 26 in an event hosted by Your Local Paper (Iliffe Media) with support from West Norfolk Council and local businesses

She was presented with her award by Olympian, TV presenter and motivational speaker Sharron Davies MBE.

Hayley said: “I felt absolutely honoured and really humbled to accept the award. There were a lot of nominations so just to have been shortlisted was incredible, then to win, was unbelievable.

“I really felt it wasn’t just an award for me, but for the whole staff team at St Martha’s including the support staff, midday assistants, cleaners and teachers. It is just such a wonderful environment to work in, with such a family feel about it. I’ve been there for 18 years, the school holds a really special place in my heart.”

Pictured above is Hayley Pink receiving her award from Sharon Davies. Picture © Your Local Paper/Ian Burt.