ONE of the town’s oldest and much-loved volunteers is bidding farewell to the classroom after dedicating her life to helping children.

Patricia Poulter, aged 86, is finally ready to put her feet up after decades of volunteering at schools in the town.

The mum of two said: “It was sad but I’m not getting any younger. I knew I would have to stop at some point and I think the time is right.”

As a young girl, Patricia decided to follow in her mum’s footsteps and trained as a teacher.

“I decided to become a teacher as it was just after the Second World War and there was not an awful lot open to girls. This is the sort of thing we did in those day,” she remembered.

She got her first teaching post as a domestic science teacher at Culcheth High School before leaving the job to enjoy married life with husband Dennis and focus on motherhood following the birth of her daughter Valerie and son Robert.

But Patricia soon got itchy feet and the calling to return to the classrom was just too strong of a temptation for her to resist.

The 86-year-old from Culcheth has since spent her spare time volunteering at a number of schools in the town including Warrington Tech, Culcheth Primary School and High School.

For the past eight years, Patricia has been volunteering at Culcheth Primary School and said she was sad to say her goodbyes earlier this month and will miss the children and staff at the school, who have never failed to put a smile on her face.

She said: “I still write to one pupil who, for one reason or another, just fell behind and I helped him find his way. This sticks out in my mind as it makes it worthwhile.

Assistant head teacher Karen Rodgers had nothing but kind words to say about Patricia.

She said: “Mrs Poulter was a dedicated, kind and caring helper and always wore a smile. The children and staff will miss her dearly.”