Preview: New Year's Honours List features inspirational St Aidan's teacher who helped save a life

After more than three decades at St Aidan's CoE High School a teacher has been left humbled after learning he will receive an MBE 'for doing what he loves.'

Teacher Tim Pocock is among those named in New Year's Honours list
Teacher Tim Pocock is among those named in New Year's Honours list

After more than three decades at St Aidan's CoE High School a teacher has been left humbled after learning he will receive an MBE 'for doing what he loves.'

Tim Pocock, 58, from Ripon has been named in the New Year's Honour List for 2018 for his dedication to education, which hasn't been restricted to the classroom, as he worked to establish sports groups, fundraising initiatives and similar efforts.

However one of his proudest moments followed his return to the school after battling testicular cancer in 1994, when he began holding assemblies to raise awareness of the disease.

He said: "Not long after I had finished my treatments my doctor approached me and asked if I would be okay with being featured in a BBC documentary that was being produced to encourage public awareness on men's health. I was so pleased to be alive I agreed, but I did this embarrassed of only one thing, I hadn't known it existed (testicular cancer).

He added: "I held an assembly talking about it and after I was called by someone who told me that one lad in the assembly had found a lump, it turned out to be aggressive and he was put through for treatment right away. He later wrote a testimonial saying that I saved his life, I can say a lot of rubbish sometimes but that lesson was the best I ever taught."

Originally starting out as a journalist at 18 Mr Pocock worked for three years at the Kentish Gazette before pursuing a career in education. He earned a degree from Lancaster University,and received additional training at St Martin's College in Lancaster. During this time he also worked in a secure teaching unit, Acliffe School in Newton Aycliffe.

After he accepted his post at St Aidan's in 1985 he married his wife, Diane, in August just in time for the start of the school term the following month. It was the beginning of a long career which saw him dedicated to getting pupils interested in literature.

A competition system was introduced to his classes so that pupils could select passages from books to read aloud, and the class would select their favorites from all of the recommendations.

When one pupil was diagnosed with leukaemia it was Mr Pocock who co-ordinated coursework and additional support to help them complete their GCSE in English.

Helping to foster sport at the school he also set up the school's staff football team in 1987, along with the girls football team.

Mr Pocock said: "I was really pleased with what we were able to for extra curricular activities at the school, I still remember that when we we're having practice in the small gym that some of the girls asked if we could do this. I am so proud of how far it has come."

Along with the £1 that staff pay for each game, half going to a nominated charity, he raised nearly £1 million over 20 years as Charities Co-coordinator for the school.

Now working part-time at the school and looking back over his years there Mr Pocock says he has been touched by the nomination for the award.

He said: "For once in my life I can say I feel very humble, I think my friends and colleagues on the staff football team will agree. My dad was in the army for 40 years serving the Empire and never received something like this, yet I have been nominated. My peers and friends from the school did this for me, and I think it is the nicest thing I have ever had done for me. I truly feel humbled."

He added: "It's really nice to receive this award, all the more that it is a labour of love. I love teaching and this is a good place to do it at, that is why I never left. I am truly delighted that I got this for doing something that I love."

Across the county other nominees have also been announced, including:

MBE: Patricia Anne Shore.

BEM: Stuart Alan Frost


Inspector William James Scott. North Yorkshire Police.

Constable Sara Widdrington. North Yorkshire Police.