Enid Sanderson is truly dedicated to her work – the 75-year-old has spent 40 years as a dinner lady at a Sheffield school.
And despite being a grandmother of four she shows no signs of hanging up her apron at Lound Academy Trust in Chapeltown just yet.
She said: “So long as God spares me and I can do the job that I’m paid to do then I will.
“I haven’t any plans to give it up anytime soon.”
Enid started working at the school when her youngest child Richard, now 45, started at Lound Infant School.
She worked 90 minutes a day, which meant she could be at home for her three young children – but never thought she would still be there four decades later.
The senior lunchtime supervisor said: “I didn’t think I would still be doing it 40 years later. I love the children and it has become a way of life.
“When I got to 65 the headmistress came to me and said ‘you’re not ready to go yet are you?’ She wrote to Sheffield Council and they agreed to let me stay on a rolling one-year contract.
“I have never been in the kitchen. I was in the dining room for a long time and said I would love to outside in the playground because you get more interaction with the children there. In the dining room they just come and go.
“I am outside for one day a week now and inside the dining room for the rest of the week. I love it.”
Over the years, Enid has seen generations of the same family come through the school and is a recognisable figure the her community.
“The nice thing is if I’m out shopping someone will always come up and say ‘hello Mrs Sanderson’,” she said. “They never forget me and when they come into school they often stop to have a chat. We’re one big family.”
When it came to recognising Enid’s long service, staff at the school wanted to do something extra special for her – and arranged a surprise assembly with all the children and Enid’s family and presented her with flowers and cards.
Emma Bellamy, headteacher, said: “Mrs Sanderson has played a vital role in school life for the 40 years she has worked at Lound.
“She lives in the community and has supported many children, some of whom are now parents to children in school.
“It is always lovely to hear many adults in the community reminiscing on times they spent with her when they were at school.
“Mrs Sanderson is a fantastic asset to the school; she is positive to everyone and will go out of her way to help any child or adult in school.
“We want to thank her for all she has done for Lound over the past 40 years.”
n Enid has been nominated in the best lunch person category in The Star Best In Education Awards. The deadline to nominate is Friday, September 11.