After more than thirty years teaching at St Aidan's Church of England High School,Harrogate, Tim Pocock, 58, says he is humbled to have been awarded an MBE for ‘doing something that I love’.
Mr Pocock, as generations of pupils know him, has been named in the 2018 New Year’s honours for ‘services to education and charity’. Friends say he has been recognised for his dedicatio0n to education which hasn't been restricted to the classroom, as he worked to establish sports groups, fundraising initiatives and similar efforts.
Speaking to the Harrogate Advertiser newspaper, Mr Pocock 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."
It was in 1985 that Tim Pocock began teaching at St Aidan’s, after starting his working life as a journalist , then switching careers, gaining a degree at Lancaster University and training as a teacher at St Martin’s College, Lancaster.
While fostering young people’s interest in literature, he also raised more than £1million for the school in his role as Charities Co-coordinator for the school. He also helped to foster sport at the school, setting up the school's staff football team in 1987, along with the girls football team.
However, he says 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.
"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”, said Mr Pocock. “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."