Julie Hampshire, has been the Learning Support Mentor at Rook’s Nest Academy since I started here seven years ago. She has worked within the Academy much longer and taken on many roles. Parents have noticed her absence but we have not made public her illness. Julie has been battling with cancer and, in November 2021, resigned from her post at Rook’s Nest Academy but didn’t want this made public knowledge, as she wanted to continue to be part of the school while she felt well enough. Plans were to be for a retirement celebration in spring, but unfortunately, due to Covid and Julie’s ongoing illness, this was not possible. Very quickly, time has moved against us, and it is with great sadness that we need to inform you that Mrs Julie Hampshire passed away on Wednesday 2nd February 2022.
Many of you will have your own images and memories of Julie – wacky dressing up clothes, raffle ticket seller, larger than life character etc. She was the most empathetic person I have ever met, and worked with our children and families with a way of support and understanding that we will never be able to replicate.
Our plans had been for a massive fun fair on the playground, in this half term, with swing boats, bouncy castles, stalls and music to give Julie a real farewell and well-deserved thank you. Events moved more quickly than we had hoped and it became obvious that this celebration would not be able to take place.
She has been a massive gap in the Rook’s Nest family that we have never been able to fill and now we know we never will.
Mrs Brooks, and I, will continue to work with your children, but we understand that we will never be able to replace the special role performed by Mrs Hampshire.
Your child may have had an experience with Mrs Hampshire, as a significant member of our staff, so we would appreciate you having a discussion with them about the situation and then we will help support them further in school.
I am sure the family will be happy to receive thoughts and any messages from you, and we can pass those on through the Academy.
With sad thoughts.
Rook’s Nest Academy Staff