Melanie Cox Globe
Hello I’m Melanie Cox Globe and I am delighted to support the work of Access the Dales as one of the Trustees. It’s an absolute honour.
I suppose you are wondering why I should be so passionate about this charity. Well, the story begins many, many moons ago....
Long, long ago, after already teaching in two primary schools in Bradford, I decided I was ready for a new challenge. And so, I applied for post of Year 2 class teacher in another school. On the interview panel was the Deputy Headteacher, Debbie Medlock (as she was named back then), who was also the other Y2 teacher. I could go into the story of how my first impressions of Debbie led me to believe that she was, what some would call, ‘stuck up’ (just goes to show how wrong first impressions can be!), but that’s a tale for another time. Within hours, we had not only struck up a recognition of our bond as colleagues but also a friendship that would last through the decades (literally!).
Debs was a dynamic teacher, who was loved by all. She was funny and loved mischief. She became my unofficial mentor, and from her I learnt more about teaching and learning, leadership and management. We loved working together and we laughed every day. One of my funniest memories of our time together as class teachers was when we decided to have a Year 2 choir and we would play our guitars to accompany the children. The problem was, neither of us could play. She knew chords G, D and A and I knew C D7 and G and E. So, we took it in turns to strum the chord we each knew during the song. We were terrible, yet the kids sang their heart out... and the parents laughed along with us!
Our friendship grew way beyond the school environment. I would often join Andy and Debs for a hike in the Yorkshire Dales and in fact, I walked the Coast to Coast with them back in 2003. It was on this walk, just as we were heading towards Ravenseat, that Andy told me that he was thinking of asking Debs to marry him when we reached Robin Hoods Bay. He asked what I thought and my reply was, ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!’.
I was Debs’ Matron of Honor at their wedding... a day that will also remain a special day in my heart, when I was there witnessing the marriage of two people who dearly loved each other, and who held (and still hold) such a huge place in my heart.
Rob (my husband) and I often went on holiday with Andy and Debs, the kids and Betty (Debs’ mum - she was a beautiful lady in so many ways too!). I have fond memories of our holidays together on the Isle of Skye (twice), Northumberland, Ireland amongst many more.
I have admired Debs’ courage all the way through the tough years that she has battled with ill health. She never lost her smile or sense of humour. She never complained about her situation and has remained positive throughout it all. I see firsthand the impact of her being able to use an all-terrain wheelchair to get out into the hills and dales. Going out walking with Andy and Debs never felt any different now that she uses a wheelchair. But the chair does mean that we can access the countryside together and continue to share our love of the outdoors.
It goes without saying that Andy passing away has left us all heartbroken. He was taken far too soon. But out of the heartbreak has grown a determination to ensure that all can enjoy life to its fullest. And this is why we're determined to make Andy’s wish come true. He asked that we raise the money for an all-terrain wheelchair for the Yorkshire Dales that was designed specifically for children. And so, the day after he passed, we set to work on setting up a ‘Just Giving’ page to achieve this aim. We were all amazed by how much money was donated.
When Debs said that she wanted to set up the charity Access the Dales, in memory of Andy, I jumped at the chance of being one of the Trustees. I cannot think of a better charity to be involved with. I hope with my background as a Headteacher I will be able to offer my support in leadership, management and long-term development of the charity.
Access the Dales will make the Yorkshire Dales accessible for people with disabilities. Together we are making the inaccessible accessible.