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Hilbre High School

Hilbre High School

Mr Vinny Devonport: Letter from the Headteacher and the JustGiving Link

Dear Governors, Staff, Parents, Carers & Students,

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must write to inform you that Mr Vinny Devonport has passed away following his incredibly courageous fight against cancer, a fight he’d been battling so hard with for many months.

At this time our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Helen and to Josh, Anna & George and to all his wider family and friends.  Helen, said to me ‘We know that he is now at peace after enduring so much – he is with his Maker’. 

As both a friend and colleague of Vinny I cannot begin to describe to you the void that his passing will leave behind at Hilbre.  Vinny was Hilbre, through and through, he influenced every aspect of school life, and even now he’s gone, his legacy will remain in Hilbre forever. 

Since joining Hilbre on the 1st of September 2001 he has had such a positive impact on so many lives.  He would never give up not even against the most challenging of circumstances.  He was wise, he was funny, he was caring, he had an interesting turn of phrase, he was a team player, he was my right hand.  He was unique, a Biblical scholar.  He taught me to look at disappointment in a positive way – when you experience disappointment it means you’ve looked for the best, and had high expectations of the person or the situation – and if you have that, you have hope.  He always looked for the best.

I feel honoured and privileged to have worked closely with Vinny and to have learned so much from the best role model you could wish for.  He made a huge difference and made a massive impact on staff.  It goes without saying how much he will be missed.

A man of his word who had virtue and honour running through his core.  He would never judge and would listen without prejudice.  Someone you could depend upon.  A wickedly dry sense of humour.  Meticulous in presentation.  He made the world a richer and more interesting place.

Vinny and I would often have quite long chats about a range of things over the years and at the end of them, he always made me feel like a better version of myself.  I know I wasn’t the only one who he made to feel like this.

I also know how proud he was of his family.  He would sit and talk to me for hours on occasions, about those dearest to him.  For me though, he always knew when someone needed support.  His ability to read a situation was second to none.  His experience, wisdom and compassion were always comforting during challenging or distressing situations.  Could do with some of that right now, as I write this letter. 

I’m sure the whole Hilbre community as I am, are proud to have known him, grateful to have worked alongside him and deeply saddened that he has gone.  There will only ever be one Vinny, and each of us will remember him in our own special way.  May our collective thoughts and prayers be sent to Helen and her family at this time.

Vinny was a true giant of the teaching profession.  A brilliant teacher, a great communicator and someone who touched everyone with his warmth and humanity.  An honour to have worked alongside you.  You will be deeply missed.  There will be a service of Thanksgiving for everyone to attend when it is safe to do so.

Sending my deepest condolences from all in our Hilbre Community.

Mark Bellamy


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3 v 16

We know many of you wish to make a donation in memory of Mr Devonport and have set-up a JustGiving page to do this. The link to the page is below. All money raised  will be passed to his family, who will donate to their chosen charities. Thank you for all donations you may choose to make: