After meeting Karen by chance, over coffee and cake, it turns out that it is a very small world…
Karen’s mum and dad are both teachers, and at 2 of the 4 schools I went to, they both taught me on different occasions.
Karen’s mum, Mrs Thompson, was my teacher at West Heslerton Primary School when I was aged 7-9 in class 2! In a school with 62 children, 3 teachers and 3 classrooms. It was an amazing place to study and learn, as everything was so intimate, and they made it all interactive and fun.
Mrs Thompson was a great teacher and used to let me witter on at her for what must have been hours on end. I was definitely a chatter box… And probably still am.
On one occasion I came back to school after a holiday in Great Yarmouth with my parents and brothers with a tale to tell…
At the age of 9 we went away on a caravan holiday to Great Yarmouth. Myself, Mum, Dad and my 3 three brothers (2 older and 1 younger). I would have said I was a strong swimmer at this stage, and on one day we all went to a leisure centre for the day. It was a great place for us kids to go as it had a couple of different pools, a kids’ area and also a large red slide that threw you into the deep end of the biggest pool.
Myself and my 2 older brothers loved this slide, and we spent hours climbing up the steps and waiting patiently for our turn. It was so fast, and the adrenaline was pumping, that when you slid to the bottom and flew through the air into the pool, you couldn’t help but gulp and swallow some of the water as you went under.
Once back on top of the water, you had to swim back to the steps of this amazing slide and do it all again. Well, we had been entertaining ourselves on this slide for a long time and I climbed out to pop and see mum and dad.
On my way back to the pool I saw a girl, a couple of years younger than me, jump into the deep end of the pool. I looked up and saw my brothers waving at me to jump in and swim to the slide but then as I approached the edge of the pool, I realised that the girl was struggling to stay on top of the water and she couldn’t swim. So, I jumped in after her (I wasn’t at lifeguarding level on my swimming badges yet, I was still doing my bronze award ????) and grabbed her by the waist. I didn’t realise that by doing this, her arms were free to push me under the water as a buoyancy aid so that she could get her head out and breath. I was pushing her up without knowing what I was doing and then realised she had hold of my hair so I couldn’t free myself.
I was under the water, propping her up for what felt like an eternity, unable to breath and not knowing what to do for the best, until eventually the lifeguards must have seen everything, dived in and pulled us apart so that they could take us both to safety at the side of the pool.
I was ok, albeit coughing up water a lot and the girl was absolutely fine as well, which was amazing to hear. The manager of the pool thanked me for trying to save the girls life and offered me free entry to the pool, which I couldn’t use as we were heading home from the holiday a couple of days later.
Once we got back home, I received a letter from the girl’s parents with £10 (I couldn’t wait to spend it at the shop on sweets ????). Their letter was lovely, thanking me for what I had done to save their daughter and also explaining that she was deaf and couldn’t hear anyone shouting at her not to jump in the deep end. My quick actions really helped her and they were such lovely people to write such a kind letter.
When I got back to school, guess which story I couldn’t wait to tell Mrs Thompson about…
And then all these years later, when I met Karen and we realised that her parents had taught me, this is the story that Mrs Thompson remembers me for.
Kelly Dunn is Managing Director of KD Recruitment.
KD Recruitment is an award-winning agency, in North and East Yorkshire, specialising in recruiting for temporary, permanent and fixed term contract roles within Finance, HR, Office Support and Marketing.
KD recruitment focuses on thoroughly understanding clients' needs and matching the right candidate to the right job; as well as being able to offer advice on writing CVs, conducting effective interviews and offering career guidance. For further information please visit kdrecruitment.co.uk or email Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org