A school crossing patrol officer is retiring after two decades of helping school children safely across the road.
Val Davies began her career as a lollipop lady on the 30 March 2001, after previously working as a lunchtime supervisor at Elston Hall Primary School and Northwood Park Primary School. The 66-year-old is hanging up her lollipop stick this Easter so she can spend some time with her grandchildren.
She said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a school crossing patrol officer, helping the parents and children of St Anthony’s Catholic Primary Academy safely cross the road.
“I’ve been with the council for 26 years and just felt now was the right time to retire – it’s time to put my feet up, try some new hobbies and spend some time with my family and grandchildren. It’s been great to see the children as they grow up – I now see children who I helped cross the road years ago, walking their children to school.
“I will miss all of my colleagues and in particular my partner Donna who I have worked alongside for the past five years. I’ll also miss seeing and chatting to the parents and children.
“However, the one thing I won’t miss is standing outside when we have bad weather. When we next have rain or snow, it will be a good feeling being able to stay warm and cosy inside!”
Whilst Val will be leaving the school crossing life behind, she will be continuing with her lunchtime supervision duties at St Anthony’s – so she hasn’t fully retired just yet. She added: “I had to make a decision between the two jobs but always knew I’d keep one. I’d be bored if I retired from both jobs.”
Karen Till, Senior School Crossing Patrol Officer, said: “Val is a valued member of our team and will be missed by all, including the parents of the children she helps safely cross the Stafford Road.
“During our team meetings, she always shares her experiences and stories with new and old members of the school crossing patrol service. Val has worked throughout the pandemic, serving families of key workers and vulnerable children; we will all miss her and hope she enjoys her retirement.”
Headteacher at St Anthony's Catholic Primary Academy, Tasmin Davis, said: “Val Davies has been dedicated to keeping the children and families of St Anthony's Catholic Primary for 26 years. She has been reliable, caring and friendly and has also put herself into danger to protect children and families on many occasions.
“Val is determined to do all that she can to challenge situations that are not safe for our children. She will certainly be very missed, and we would like to thank her for all that she has done.”