Sweeping success

School cleaner Mary Gerrard has been awarded the BEM
School cleaner Mary Gerrard has been awarded the BEM
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A COMMUNITY stalwart who has transformed a village school has been given royal recognition.

Mary Gerrard, 60, of Longnor, has been awarded a BEM for services to education in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Mrs Gerrard has worked as a caretaker at Hollinsclough Primary School since the early-1980s and as a governor for the past two years.

In her role as a governor, she has helped boost the profile of the school – which has gone from having just five pupils to 53.

Proud Mrs Gerrard said: “I’m overjoyed. When I received my letter I thought it was a joke!” Headteacher Janette Mountford-Lees said: “Mary definitely deserves this accolade. She’s a star.”