ABOVE AND BEYOND: Lindy Themistocelous
ABOVE AND BEYOND: Lindy Themistocelous

A BOARDING school matron from Barnard Castle has won a community champion award for selflessly giving up time with her own family to care for students unable to return home during the coronavirus lockdowns.
Lindy Themistocelous, senior boys’ boarding matron at Barnard Castle School, was nominated for the Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists’ We See You Community Champion Awards by one of her colleagues.
She was praised for her selfless commitment to her students, having opted to stay at the school and look after boarders who were unable to return home when the UK lockdown was initiated, rather than go to live with her own family.
Remaining at the school until the end of the summer term in late July, Ms Themistocelous also supported boarders who returned to Barnard Castle in August to quarantine and cared for 13 students unable to return home during Christmas 2020.
Throughout the most recent school term, she also cared for students ill with Covid-19, ensuring they remained safe and comfortable while in isolation at the school. Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists, which has a practice in Barnard Castle, launched the awards to celebrate the nation’s local heroes.
Peter Lavery, head of boarding at Barnard Castle School, said: “Lindy embodies every quality a boarding community could ask for in a matron.
She maintains a quiet, calm and unflappable presence, balancing that vital role of being the boys’ mother away from home, with calm authority. Her willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty this year has been instrumental in allowing boarding to flourish at Barnard Castle and she has undoubtedly improved the lives of our boarding children throughout this challenging year.”
Ms Themistocelous said: “I feel so honoured and humbled that I was put forward, and I am incredibly grateful to be named a regional winner.
“To all my boys in the boarding house, past and present – it is because of you that I love what I do. You are all amazing and each and every one of you has a special place in my heart.
“I could not do what I do without the encouragement and help of my colleagues, who contribute so much to the wellbeing of our pupils.
As well as winning £100, Lindy will now go into the national round of the awards and stands a chance of winning £1,000.