A WOMAN who has dedicated her life to supporting her community near Whitchurch has said she was delighted to be asked to officially open new school classrooms.

Freda Ridgway BEM cut the ribbon on the two newly-built classrooms with North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan at Lower Heath Primary School – part of the Marches Academy Trust – near Whitchurch on Friday.

Freda gave a speech to youngsters at her school about how she had been invited to Buckingham Palace for her community work and that four generations of her family had Lower Heath to thank for their start in life.

She said: “It was such a proud day for me.

“It means such a lot because of my family connections and because I’ve worked here for so long.

“I’ve done so many clubs and was here for every day of the week at one time.

“When they asked me to do the official ribbon cutting, I couldn’t believe it.

“I’m 91 – I couldn’t believe that I would be picked to do this today and I’m so very thankful to the school.

“Especially because my granddaughter was here and she really does feel it set her up for life.


“The way she was educated and how she’s situated now – she lives up in Newcastle working in speech and language therapy.

“She thinks it set her up for life.

“The satisfaction of working in the community comes from doing the work.”

Mrs Morgan admitted it was a pleasure to be involved in the ceremony.

She added: “It was so lovely to be invited here to Lower Heath – the school has a fantastic community feel to it and it was an honour to be here with Freda who has done so much over the years.

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“The buildings are fantastic – they’re going to do so much for the childrens’ education for many years to come.

“When the children hear people talking, they find the idea of going to Buckingham Palace so exciting – as do I.

“I hope that what the children take away from both our talks is that if you go out to work in your community, it’s really rewarding.

Whitchurch Herald:

“It makes you feel good and benefits everyone else, and I thought Freda’s story was very powerful in demonstrating that.”

Lower Heath headteacher Helen Reynolds added: “These new facilities will enable us to continue providing exceptional education while nurturing the talents and aspirations of our children.

“We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has made this project a reality."