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Staffordshire celebrates 70 years of the School Crossing Patrol service

Lollipop men and women from across Staffordshire are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the School Crossing Patrol service (SCP).

The service was created in 1953 with the first official patrol starting the year after. While the uniform and sign have changed slightly to meet modern standards, and patrols can now stop traffic to cross any pedestrian, adult or child, the role is essentially the same today as it was 70 years ago.

Staffordshire has more than 220 patrols, working outside schools and busy sections of roads, including people from all walks of life. Currently the youngest patrol is 26 and the oldest is 83.

Amongst the patrols celebrating is former fireman Chris Hagon from Rugeley. Chris, aged 69 said: “I’ve been a lollipop man for over three years now and I have to say, it must be one of the greatest jobs in the world. Knowing that you’re doing an important role helping out is a great sense of achievement.”

Suzie Abbey Somers who works at John Wheeldon Primary School in Stafford said: “Thirteen years ago I started my job as a school crossing warden and it’s been the best decision I have ever made.

“Ensuring the safety of parents, children and the odd family of ducks is so rewarding with the smiles and “thank you Suzy” from both parents and children. I have made so many friends at this wonderful school and to my surprise and delight I was thoroughly spoilt on my 70th birthday last week being presented with a host of lovely gifts. Children and staff also tied a banner to the school gates and the cars and drivers slowed down to wish me happy birthday. I really was treated as royalty by my John Wheeldon family.”

Karen Mangan, from Rugeley, who has been in the job for six years added: “It’s a lovely job, I am always out in the fresh air and I get to speak to lots of nice children and their parents, and I couldn’t recommend this job enough.”

David Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said: “ It’s great to be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the service and what a great way to thank our patrols for the job they do.

“Out in all weathers, they help children and families get to and from school safely and are the friendly face that greets pedestrians every day of the school year.

“We continue to work with schools to help encourage more families to walk, cycle or scoot to school which is better for people’s health and helps take some of the traffic off the roads. Our patrols play an important role in this and to help make it as easy and safe as possible for them. We do have a number of vacancies across the county so if you’re looking for a few hours work a week or know someone who is then please get in touch with the team.”

Further information on the service is available at School Crossing Patrol Service - Staffordshire County Council


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