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Valeri Axton

Treasurer, Membership Secretary

Mobirise
I was born on the last day of the year in Epsom, Surrey and grew up in the 1950’s in Cheam (where Tony Hancock came from). I did not find school very easy especially learning to read. This was not helped by one teacher who used to smack my hand whenever I could not read a word!
I went on to a bilateral secondary school in Kingston upon Thames and then teacher training in Reading and was the first in my family to go on to further education. I then went on to do the newly introduced B. Ed. (Bachelor of Education) Honours Degree.

I returned home and got a job as a teacher in a local Primary school. I had specialised in Nursery/Infant teaching but for most of my career have taught older children. I met my husband David at this school in 1974. He moved to Suffolk in 1975 and I moved here in 1977 when we got married. I took on five step children (four living at home) and two dogs and four puppies!!

We had one daughter in 1986 who was very premature, weighing just two pounds. She needed lots of medical intervention and help as she grew up, but is now 31, a qualified Norland Nanny (very Mary Poppins) and paediatric intensive care nurse currently working in a very busy neo-natal unit in London.

I have worked in several local schools as a Special Needs teacher, Deputy Head and Head Teacher and I retired in 2012.

My husband, David, who edits the Upbeat magazine, had a heart attack in November 1996 when his heart stopped. Fortunately, I had called an ambulance and his heart stopped on the way up to coronary care. We attended the rehab sessions at the West Suffolk Hospital and then used to attend exercise classes with Upbeat on a Friday night. Unfortunately David was working away in Leicester and by the time he got home he was tired. (He is not very fond of exercise), so exercising has been very intermittent! He had another heart attack in March 2016 and the response from the paramedics, ambulance and staff at Papworth was magnificent. From his first pains to two stents being put in his heart was under two hours.

We have been members of Upbeat since early 1997.

Since I retired we have been travelling, moved to a new house and get involved in various activities. I enjoy reading, swimming, the theatre and helping people. I am a Chair of Governors at a local school.

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