A caretaker who has raised more than £280,000 for the three schools he works at has been hailed for going ‘beyond the call of duty’.

Paul Herdman, a caretaker at Laughton Community Primary, East Hoathly CE Primary and Chiddingly Primary schools, has been named East Sussex Caretaker of the Year 2017.

Caretaker of the year Paul Herdman

Caretaker of the year Paul Herdman.

As well as working tirelessly to maintain the three sites, Paul has researched, applied for and secured a total of £285,024 in funding from various sources to improve the schools.

Projects delivered as a result include playground resurfacing, a new roof, play equipment, energy-saving LED lighting and restoration of Laughton’s school clock and bell tower.

Paul also manages to fit into his busy schedule running a breakfast club, leading the children’s ‘eco group’, managing an area of woodland and looking after the school chickens.

He said of the care taker of the year award: “It’s brilliant and came as a complete shock – I wasn’t expecting it at all. The kids are really enthusiastic and I’m really proud that they recognise what I do and enjoy the things I’ve helped to raise money for.”

Schools across the county were asked to nominate their caretaker of the year, with the winner selected by Stuart Gallimore, East Sussex County Council director of children’s services.

Narrowly pipped at the post was runner-up Mark Cornford, of St Andrew’s CE Infants’ School, Eastbourne, who has also raised money not just for his school but for the pupil it sponsors at a school in Uganda.

You can keep up to date with all our latest news on East Sussex County Council’s press site.