Valerie Axton

Treasurer - Membership Secretary

Valerie Axton -T reasurer - Membership Secretary
I was born on the last day of the year in Epsom, Surrey, and grew up in the 1950s in Cheam. 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 secondary school in Kingston-upon-Thames and then to teacher training in Reading. I was the first in my family to go on to further education. I then went on to follow 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!! 

In 1986 we had one daughter who was very premature, weighing just two pounds. She needed lots of medical intervention and help as she grew up but thankfully, in her teenage years she progressed well. On leaving school she attended the famous Norland College, qualified as a Norland Nanny and travelled the world. She then trained as a paediatric intensive care nurse in a big London hospital and currently supports parents and families through bereavement and palliative care of their children.

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. Fortunately, I had called an ambulance and his heart stopped on the way up to the coronary care unit at the West Suffolk Hospital. We attended the rehab sessions at the West Suffolk Hospital and then used to attend exercise classes with Upbeat on a Friday evening. Unfortunately, David was working away in Leicester then 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. The time lapse between his first pains and him having two stents put in his heart was under two hours. In 2018 he had bilateral pulmonary embolisms and again the NHS were brilliant. He has been very fortunate.
We have been members of Upbeat since early 1997.

Since I retired we have been travelling, moved to a new house, and become involved in various activities. I enjoy reading, swimming, the theatre, and helping people.
As Treasurer and Membership secretary of Upbeat I am kept busy but enjoy the work and friendship.

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