Remembering our friend, Michelle
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share the very sad news that Michelle Lane, one of our Pastoral coordinators and member of our Leadership team, passed away on Saturday 28th May.
Michelle was a cherished colleague and friend, and she was an integral part of the Learning Centre staffing team and our Safeguarding Lead.
Michelle started at the Learning Centre in 2015 pastoral manager prior to which she had many years working as a family social worker with the Children with Disabilities team, supporting children and young people across the borough, many of which are at New Bridge now. Michelle later became Pastoral Lead with responsibility for safeguarding, Year 14 Record of achievement & leavers Prom, post 19 transition and all aspects of social care support in addition to supporting Learning Centre Tutors with a wide range of complex student need.
I have learnt so much from Michelle and she has shaped much of my approach, understanding and practice. Michelle was my go-to person for advice on all aspects of safeguarding and social care systems and support, her wise words got me through countless times and her calm, reassuring manner and approach ensured my responses were always considered, informed and invariably the right course of action to ensure all our students were safeguarded.
We spent many extra hours at the Learning Centre supporting students who were in crisis and awaiting social care action, I’ve lost count of the ‘chippy teas’ we had whilst waiting. Michelle would never leave the building until everything was sorted, she was a true professional who went over and above!
Michelle was always there for everyone, and she had an immense ability to put the needs of others before herself, both staff and students alike. Michelle was also there to support on a personal level and I know myself and many staff hugely appreciated her listening ear, and invariably her words of wisdom.
Michelle also had huge understanding for the families she supported and the many comments from parents and carers received this week are testament to just how much she was loved and appreciated. Michelle regularly advised within the Learning Centre Parents group, advising on many areas where families needed support and guidance.
In 2005, this was recognised when Michelle received an award from POINT (Parents of Oldham in Touch) for ‘Passion for Parents Award’ Social care category winner. I know that this meant a lot to Michelle as it had pride of place on the windowsill behind her desk.
Michelle’s passing has come as a huge shock to many, and I know the team will pull together as we process our feelings of loss and immense grief.
One of our students wrote in a card to the family, ‘Fly high beautiful angel’. Beautiful and appropriate words.
The funeral and celebration for the life of Michelle will take place on Thursday 16th June at 11.00 at St Johns Church, Failsworth, followed by a burial at Failsworth Cemetery for close family only. Celebrations will follow at the Street Bridge on Roman Road. The family would like to welcome those who knew Michelle.
Our Thoughts and prayers go to her family Doreen, Hannah, Michael, Joanne, Karen, Alison, Caitlin, William, Talia, Harlow, Lilia and Oscar as this very difficult time.
Michelle dedicated all her working life to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the children and young people she worked with and that was especially true at the Learning Centre. Michelle was much loved and will be dearly missed by both staff and students alike.
Michelle, I can’t imagine the Learning Centre without your reassuring presence, constant support and advice, beautiful smile, wicked sense of humour and overwhelming dedication to your role.
Night, God Bless, Michelle