A BOARDING school matron from County Durham has won a community award for selflessly giving up time with her own family to care for students unable to return home during the Coronavirus lockdowns. 

Lindy Themistocelous, senior boys’ boarding matron at Barnard Castle School, was nominated for the ‘We See You’ community champion awards by one of her colleagues.

In the nomination, Lindy was praised for her selfless commitment to her students, having opted to stay at the school and look after students who were unable to return home when the UK lockdown was initiated, rather than go to live with her own family. 

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Remaining at the school until the end of the summer term in late July, the Matron also supported boarders who returned to Barnard Castle in August to quarantine and cared for 13 students during Christmas 2020.

Throughout the most recent school term at Barnard Castle School, Lindy also cared for students who became ill with COVID-19, ensuring they remained safe. 

The community awards were set up by Bayfields Opticians & Audiologists in 2021, which has over 30 practices across the UK, including one in Barnard Castle, to celebrate the nation’s local heroes who have gone out of their way to help people in their areas. 

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Peter Lavery, head of boarding at Barnard Castle School, said: “Lindy embodies every quality a boarding community could ask for in a matron. She maintains a quiet, calm, and unflappable presence, balancing that vital role of being the boys’ mother away from home, with calm authority.

“Her willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty this year has been instrumental in allowing boarding to flourish at Barnard Castle and she has undoubtedly improved the lives of our boarding children throughout this challenging year.”

In response to hearing that she’d been named the North East regional winner, Lindy said: “I feel so honoured and humbled that I was put forward, and I am incredibly grateful to be named a regional winner.

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“To all my boys in the boarding house, past and present – it is because of you that I love what I do. You are all amazing and each and every one of you has a special place in my heart.

“I could not do what I do without the encouragement and help of my colleagues, who contribute so much to the wellbeing of our pupils. I am blessed to be part of our wonderful Barnard Castle community, and I thank you so much for believing in me and making me feel part of this wonderful school.”

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