Learning Adviser Of 25 Years Announces RetirementPrint Page
Sheila Raine, the longest serving member of the additional learning support team at Darlington College, was presented with flowers and a cake from fellow support workers after 25 years of helping students achieve their goals.
Sheila, 65, who began working at the Cleveland Avenue site in 1989 helping a student study for his GCSEs, was initially employed by the college on just a one-year contract.
“I was thinking about studying for a nursery nurse qualification when my sister who worked at Darlington College said that there was a part-time position vacant for a support worker,” said Sheila, of Darlington.
“I applied and was given seven hours a week to support a young man who was re-sitting his GCSEs.
“At the time there were only three support workers at the college and when one of them went into hospital I was asked to cover their hours which resulted in me being offered a full time job – I never did get to study to be a nursery nurse and 25 years later I’m still here.”
Sheila eventually became one of a 36-strong team who support students of any age with learning needs throughout the college.
“I’ve absolutely loved my job,” said Sheila. “I’d come into work and enjoy every day. I got to work with a fantastic team of people and was able to help thousands of students achieve – I’m really proud to have been a part of that.”
With a three-week holiday planned to South Africa in September, Sheila is now looking forward to travelling and finding plenty to keep her occupied during her retirement.
Darlington College’s additional learning support manager Andy Gilpin added: “Sheila was here when I started in the team and she has been an absolute star to work with.
“She was always friendly and cheerful and fantastic with the students – the perfect learning support assistant who always ensured that students with additional needs got the same opportunity to achieve as everyone else.”