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Farewell To Belinda After 22 Years

Belinda Cook, Pupil and First Aid Officer, will retire next week after 22 years at Pilgrim Academy. She is pictured with Principal Andy Clark, who says she the whole school will miss her.

Pilgrim Academy’s Pupil and First Aid Officer is retiring after 22 years at the school. Belinda Cook will take early retirement from May 6. 

Belinda, who was herself a pupil at the school when it was Allerton Primary, says she has been associated with the school for so long that she can remember when all of the mature trees around the site were planted as saplings.

“When I was a pupil there was very little health and safety and I recall having a real Christmas tree in the school with lighted candles that were left to burn all day long. It is unthinkable now,” she laughed.

Belinda will miss all of the pupils and staff at the Academy. “I am now seeing the children of former pupils, so I know I have been here a while,” she joked.

Belinda joined the school in 2000, and trained as a nursery nurse. She described Pilgrim as a home from home. “It has been fantastic working here, and since it became Pilgrim Academy the changes have been amazing,” she said.

“People always think the worst when change comes but the behaviour of the pupils at Pilgrim Academy is impeccable and that is down to the staff. Everything that has been done since the school became Pilgrim Academy has been for the better, without any shadow of a doubt. It has been a privilege working here. 

“I think what I have really enjoyed is seeing the teachers flourish from NQTs to becoming really confident practitioners and watching everyone go from strength to strength. I will miss that,” said Belinda.

Belinda is now looking forward to spending more time in her garden with her husband of 38 years, Roy, who is also retired. The couple have three children and two grandchildren.

Andy Clark, Principal of Pilgrim Academy, said: “The whole school will miss Belinda and we cannot thank her enough for her enormous contribution to the smooth running of the Academy. We all wish her a wonderful retirement.”

Belinda Cook in her Pupil Office.