Six Gloucestershire schools on lookout for lollipop helpers
VITAL school crossings aren't patrolled because schools can't find a lollipop lady – or man.
Six schools are trying to fill vacancies and The Citizen has launched the Stop and Help Us campaign in a bid for community-minded people to step forward and get children to school safely.
"I can't imagine doing anything nicer," said Gloria Hobday, 65, who has run Stroud Valleys Primary crossing patrol at Whitehall for more than 12 years, and before that spent five years in the same role at Parliament primary.
"It's the best job in the world, it really is. "The children are amazing, we have such fun."
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She said some children affectionately call her "Mrs Lollipop" or "Ladypop".
She patrols an area where five roads meet and it's a vital duty.
But some schools are not so fortunate. After 18 months without a crossing patrol, Whiteshill primary is hopeful of making an appointment.
And five other county schools are advertising posts too. Beech Green in Quedgeley has just made an appointment, leaving Ann Edwards School in South Cerney needing one to add to its existing patrol, and Aylburton, Berkeley Primary and Grange Primary in Tuffley on the lookout.
Ann Edwards School administrator Jo Finnigan said it has one post for Broadway Lane but needs another to get children across the High Street.
"So far we have had no responses," she said.
Schools advertise the posts but Gloucestershire County Council pays and trains crossing patrol staff.
Pay, Terms and Conditions:
Crossing patrols work on average one hour a day, with half an hour to prepare themselves in the morning which in total equates to between six-and-a-half to seven-and-a-half hours a week.
They are paid £6.47 an hour and there is no age limit as long as they are fit, healthy and able to do the job.
They are trained on site, with new patrols being monitored two weeks and then four weeks after starting.