Seaburn Dene Primary School names library in honour of much loved governor who tragically died from Covid
A much loved governor at Seaburn Dene Primary School who sadly passed away from Covid has been remembered by the the school she “passionately cared for” with the naming of school’s library in her honour.
As governor at the school, Margaret Beck, who was 71 when she died, loved nothing better than spending time with the children in the school’s library helping them with their reading.
In recognition of her “commitment and passion for school life”, the library has now been named the Margaret Beck Memorial Library – a permanent tribute to her dedication and love for the school.
Attending the official naming ceremony was husband Richard Beck, daughter Theresa Hall, and grandson Ryan Hall.
Richard, 74, said: “Margaret became a governor at the school around six years ago and she threw herself into the role. She was behind a campaign which led to the installation of a new footpath for children to walk to school safely and used to love to get involved in reading with the children and judging competitions.
"The naming of the library in her honour is not something she would have looked for but I know she would be immensely proud.”
Margaret sadly died from Covid in March 2020, but before falling ill both she and Richard helped to set up a support network as volunteers at the Fulwell Community Library to deliver and drop off books to help people through the isolation of lockdown.
The couple also established a Salvation Army food donation box and a school uniform donation drop-off to help struggling families – something which Richard continued after Margaret’s passing and which led to him being named as Sunderland’s Covid Community Champion.
He added: “In her four years as Fulwell Councillor she did a lot for the area. She was the sort of person who could enthuse others to get involved. She used to arrange lots of events for the Community Library, including afternoon teas.
"I believe Margaret was only the second person in Sunderland to die from Covid. She developed symptoms on the Tuesday and by the Friday she was gone.”
Following the naming ceremony, headteacher at Seaburn Dene, John Howe, said: “We have had this planned for a long time and it was wonderful to welcome Richard and his family into our school to see how we planned to remember Margaret.
“Margaret was a true friend to our school, believed passionately in what we stood for and was always available for our children. She is deeply missed.
“She was an active governor, a great advocate for Seaburn Dene Primary School, so it is only fitting that our children remember her, now and in the future.”
Chair of Governors Julie Chalk added: “Margaret was a wonderful woman who was dedicated to the community and our school in particular.”
After winning the Covid Community Champion award, Richard dedicated it to Margaret.
Speaking at the time he said: “We worked together. She did the actual setting up of things and I worked through the mechanics. It was a team effort.”