A MUCH-LOVED school nurse has retired from service at Preston Lodge High School after 26 years’ service.

Viv Donaldson, of Prestonpans, started off at PL in the school canteen and moved to the role of pupil auxiliary/school nurse after eight years.

She came to the school in her thirties when her own children were attending PL and is now leaving to help care for her three grandchildren, having celebrated her 40th, 50th and 60th birthdays at Preston Lodge.

She ended her 26 years at the school on the last day of term before Christmas.

During her time at the school, Viv went on multiple school trips to the Netherlands, where she went on her first ever rollercoaster; she took part in school performances, attended staff weekends away, and helped fundraise as a member of the school’s fundraising group the Persian Ladies, who have raised thousands of pounds for charity.

In 2014, the school united to raise money in honour of Viv during her battle with lung cancer.

Viv’s Walk of Positivity was held in aid of FACE (Fight Against Cancer Edinburgh) and Ward 1: Chemotherapy Outpatients Fund, at the Western General Hospital.

The Walk of Positivity continues to take place annually.

Viv told the Courier: “PL has been like a second home to me. My own daughters attended PL too and did very well in their education.

“The school has always had the community at the centre of all they do. I feel so privileged to have worked in this incredible establishment.

“I have so many fond memories: there are things that pupils have said to me over the years I won’t forget and we have had some funny incidents, like the time I accidentally jabbed myself with an Epipen.

“We went on trips to Holland a couple of times and that is where I went on my first ever rollercoaster – and we wrote about it in the school blog.

“My kids replied saying that they didn’t believe I went on. Before, I used to just stand and hold the coats.

“It’s not been a job as such. It’s been a privilege to have the children allow me to give them my time and care.”

Headteacher Gavin Clark said: “It is very hard to capture adequately in words what Viv Donaldson means to Preston Lodge High School, or what Preston Lodge High School means to Viv.

“Viv’s commitment to this school and its community has been incredible, and it is strange imagining the school without her around.

“Her can-do attitude, positivity and wicked sense of humour have lightened up many days, and [in her last week] Viv was overwhelmed with gifts and kindness from across the school.

“Her next chapter in life sees her stepping up her role as a much-loved grandmother, but we know that Viv will always be connected to Preston Lodge and will never be a stranger.

“Good luck Viv and many, many thanks for everything that you have done for this school over many years of much appreciated service. We will all miss you!”