CROSSGATES Primary teacher Jemma Thomas proved she is definitely top of the class when she was awarded the Champion Teacher of the Year Award at the Dunfermline Press and Central Fife Times Community Champion Awards.

Jemma is the Young Carers Champion for her school community and over the last three years, and during the pandemic, she has created a sector leading support programme for Young Carers.

This programme includes working with Fife Young Carers, upskilling staff within her school, creating a Young Carers Club and finding funding opportunities so that Young Carers can attend school residentials and extracurricular clubs free of charge.

Through her hard work, Crossgates Primary became the first primary school in Fife to achieve the ‘Recognising We Care Award’ which she was presented with at Queen Margaret University in March.

She is also now sharing her work with other schools in the hope that they can also create a programme so that Young Carers are supported across Fife.

Jemma was stunned to receive the award.

"It means a huge amount," she said.

"It is lovely to be nominated but you never think you are going to win. It is something I was just doing.

"When you start doing it, you realise how much need there is for carers to be supported, especially during Covid – they were not getting support.

"It was up to us as the adults to give all the support we could."

Her nominee said Miss Thomas went "above and beyond" to support the most vulnerable learners during the hardest times of Covid and the cost of living crisis.

They added: "This commitment shines through in everything she does.

"The fact that she is also now mentoring other schools so they can do the same is testament to her hard work and dedication.

"We would love to see her hard work and commitment recognised."