Hero teacher helped underprivileged children to read and write for 50 years

Robyn Dalby Stockwell was crowned best teacher at the 2021 Ely Hero Awards 

Robyn Dalby Stockwell was crowned best teacher at the 2021 Ely Hero Awards - Credit: ELY HERO AWARDS

A woman in her 80s who received an MBE from the Queen has won an Ely Hero Award, having “tirelessly taught and helped underprivileged children to read and write” for over 50 years. 

Robyn Dalby Stockwell, who was crowned best teacher, is originally from New Zealand, trained in law and wanted to be New Zealand’s first female judge.   

Upon relocating to the UK, she moved into teaching and that is where she built her career. 

Robyn Dalby-Stockwell, from Wilburton, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday honours list.

Robyn Dalby-Stockwell, from Wilburton, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday honours list. - Credit: ARCHANT

She was awarded an MBE by the Queen three years ago through her work on synthetic phonics.  

Robyn has tirelessly taught and helped underprivileged children to read and write with a firm belief that it is every child’s right to be able to do so.  

Robyn still privately tutors seven days a week and is devoted to the world of literacy and to her students, many of which would have been written off by schools. 


You may also want to watch:


The other finalists in the category were: 

Sophie Martin 

Sophie Martin was a finalist in the best teacher category of the 2021 Ely Hero Awards.

Sophie Martin was a finalist in the best teacher category of the 2021 Ely Hero Awards. - Credit: ELY HERO AWARDS

Most Read

Initially beginning as a volunteer, Sophie has worked at Ely College for over six years and become a higher-level teaching assistant.  

As a very engaged teacher, Sophie received multiple nominations from her students, with a focus on pastoral care she trained as a mental health professional gaining an “ELSA” qualification. 

One nominee described her as “the most inspirational human being I have ever met”, adding “no matter what you are going through Miss Martin is always there and really gets you”.  

Bringing positivity and laugher to her classroom she makes the learning experience a pleasure and teaches young people how to handle their emotions.  

Courtney Pettifor  

A local teacher at Witchford Village College who has a clear passion for a child’s learning, Courtney has also undertaken significant extracurricular activities to support his students in his school and beyond.  

He has created a website to enable students to revise for GSCE PE, he manages trips and is heavily involved with local charities raising money for great causes.  

Courtney is well known for his positivity and the power of that echoes through the school and from his multiple nominations.  

A very hardworking, caring teacher like Courtney will be remembered for many years to come. Students say “he never says no to anyone even though he has a lot going on in his own life” 

“He brings smiles, music and lots of fun to our classes”. 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter