A YOUNG PEOPLE who struggles with anxiety and loneliness has received an unexpected gift.
Aibhlinn Delaney, a 9th grader at Kingsdown School, was not looking forward to summer vacation.
Then principal Emma Leigh-Bennett offered to bypass school library lending rules just for her.
Normally, all books in the library must be returned before the end of the term.
However, Emma let Aibhlinn take some with her, provided she returns them in September.
Aibhlinn said, “I have suffered from anxiety a lot over the past few years.
“There have been many methods I have tried to deal with it, but reading has helped me the most.
“It helps me escape to another world, it calms me down and relaxes me, and I learn something new.
“It would have been very difficult to spend the holidays, but it made them much better and less lonely.”
Emma Leigh-Bennett said: “She is an exceptional student and a great role model.
“I had never met her until recently, when she was talking to her progress team and her support manager was not at school, so they asked if I could help her.
“I asked about her plans for the holidays, she said she didn’t have a lot of money and that she liked to read the classics, so I took her to the school library. .
“I let her pick ten books and she recommended one to me, it was one of the best experiences I’ve had at this school.”
Aibhlinn added, “It sounds a bit like a privilege, it makes me stand out from the crowd.”
School librarians Maggie Longthorne and Lin Curtis were happy to see a student with a passion for literature.
The two learning resource assistants have just completed their last days at school after working there for a total of 28 years.
Emma added: “After meeting Aibhlinn, I decided to change the rules and allow students to take books out of the library during the holidays in the future.
“These weeks away provide a wonderful reading opportunity.”