A POPULAR village lollipop lady whose job is at risk because of cuts by Northamptonshire County Council has been recognised as the best in region.
Sue Brown, a wisecracking school crossing patroller in Middleton Cheney, in south Northamptonshire, has been crowned the best lollipop lady in the East Midlands and will now battle it out with winners from across the country for the national prize.
Sue started helping children to safely cross the road outside Middleton Cheney Community Primary School four years ago, after seeing the job advertised.
The 59-year-old, who has also been a teaching assistant at the school for 16 years, said: “I saw it and thought I would quite like to do it.
“It is a brilliant job. I try to remember all the children’s names so I can say hello when they are crossing and I like to have some banter with them and have a laugh and a joke. It is very rewarding.”
Sue scooped the award after children at the school submitted letters and pictures to the judges stating why she deserved to win the title.
The popular lollipop lady said she was still hoping to keep her job in the future, despite plans by the county council to scrap school crossing patrols to save £200,000 a year. She said parents had already started discussions about how to keep her.
She said: “It is a bit ironic really that we are getting these awards when they are talking about getting rid of the jobs.
“The parents are all against it. They know if you have a school crossing their kids will get to school safely.”
Asked about the award, Sue added: “It was a complete surprise, I didn’t know a thing about it. I haven’t got a clue I had been nominated. It is a lovely feeling that people have taken the time to vote for me. It just make you feel really good.”
Headteacher Philip Percival said pupils had been desperate to support Sue. He said: “Sue is a vital part of the school community and is always there with a smile, and usually a terrible joke. We’re proud to have her as our lollipop lady.
“The children really enjoyed taking part and we think Sue thoroughly deserves her title as the best lollipop person in the East Midlands.”