Melanie Cox Globe
Hello, I’m Melanie Cox Globe and I am delighted, no honoured! to take up the role of Chair of the newly formed charity Access the Dales. 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 in a Primary School in Bradford (Low Moor CE Primary to be exact) I applied and was interviewed for the post of Year 2 class teacher. On the interview panel was the key stage coordinator – Debbie Medlock, as she was back then. I thought she was rather snooty and a bit stuck up. I got the job –hooray! But it meant me working with Miss Po-face – boo!
So, my first day came... and I was dreading meeting Miss Priggish Medlock – oh how wrong was I at reading first impressions... Debs was wonderful! She was a dynamic teacher, who was loved by all. She was funny, loved mischief and above all, she took me under her wing. She made going to work an enjoyable experience and I learnt so much from her about teaching, leadership and management. 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 G7 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 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 just as we were heading towards Ravenseat that Andy told me that he was going to ask Debs to marry him when we eventually reached Robin Hoods Bay. I was so excited for him that I nearly wet my pants! 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.
Rob and I often went on holiday with Andy and Debs, the kids and Betty, Debs’ mum (she was a beautiful lady too!). I have fond memories of our holiday together on the Isle of Skye.
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 has never felt any different now that she was using a wheelchair. But the chair means that we can all go out again together. That is very special. All our hearts were broken when Andy passed away. He was taken far too soon. Cancer is cruel.
Andy’s wish was that we raise the money for an all-terrain wheelchair for the Yorkshire Dales that was designed specifically for children. We were all amazed how much money was donated. When Debs said that she wanted to set up the charity Access the Dales, in memory of Andy, well I jumped at the chance of being one of the Trustees. I can’t think of a better charity to be involved with. I hope with my background as a head teacher 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 for accessible for people with disabilities. Together we are making the inaccessible accessible.