08/04/2019 | Press releases

Farewell and thank you to June after 30 years of volunteering

A dedicated volunteer has said goodbye to her role supporting children in the Ipswich Hospital School Room and more than 30 years of volunteering.

June Parsons has been a familiar face around the hospital since 1987. She was a librarian and gave out hearing aid batteries before joining the school room in 2005.

Long serving volunteer June Parsons, centre, celebrated more than three decades of volunteering with Ipswich Hospital colleagues


June and her neighbour Sarah, who first introduced her to hospital volunteering, were fondly known as the ‘battery hens’.

She said:

“It’s been very enjoyable, for me the school room in particular has been the most interesting department.”

Although she’s stepping away from her volunteer role, June, who turns 80 soon, has no plans to take it easy. She has two years to go at Birkbeck, University of London, where she’s studying for a degree in Spanish with Latin American studies.

June Parsons started volunteering at Ipswich Hospital in 1987


She takes Spanish lessons too, is a member of Ipswich Choral Society and enjoys travelling, walking, birdwatching with her husband and reading. June is also known for her creative flair and helped to create many of the colourful displays about the school room’s topics around the children’s ward over the years.

The school room’s lead teacher Kate Kingsford-Bere said: “June is absolutely inspirational. She is a unique and lovely person, she has given a lot of time not only to the school room, but the hospital too. She will be sorely missed and we thank her for all she has done.”

Good Ofsted rating for school room

The School Room at Ipswich Hospital has been rated ‘good’ by education watchdog Ofsted.

Lead teacher Kate Kingsford-Bere, who joined the school just over a year ago, said she was “delighted” with the result.

Lead teacher at the Ipswich Hospital School Room Kate Kingsford-Bere with Sally Swann, joint headteacher of Parkside Academy, which the school room was inspected alongside.


She said: “It is testament to the hard work and dedication the team put in and to the amazing pupils that we have here. We’re really excited to build on this success going forward.”

The report said: “Pupils are effectively supported in the hospital provision to learn well. The leader works closely with medical professionals to ensure that all pupils receive high-quality provision between their care and treatment.

“The leader liaises closely with pupils’ schools to ensure that there is continuity in the learning they receive, especially for those pupils who require this provision on a more recurrent basis.”

The school room is run by Ipswich-based multi-academy trust, the Raedwald Trust, which offers alternative education for pupils of all ages across eight sites in Ipswich and one site in Bury St Edmunds. The Ipswich Hospital School Room was inspected by Ofsted alongside the Raedwald Trust’s Parkside Academy and Lindbergh Centre in Ipswich.

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