A long-serving ‘lollipop lady’, who has helped thousands of local children get to school safely, is celebrating four decades of service to the community.
Josie Hides first put on a hi-vis jacket and picked up a lollipop stick when covering a shift for a friend back in 1983. Having never previously considered the role herself, her immediate love for the job soon flourished and she became a ‘lollipop lady’ shortly afterwards.
Serving multiple schools across the borough, including Edward Heneage Primary Academy, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Welholme Academy, Josie is a welcome sight and local icon. For generations, families have looked out for Josie’s bright yellow jacket on their daily commute to and from school and have built a real connection with their local stalwart of road safety.
“I can’t believe it’s been over 40 years,” said school crossing patrol officer Josie. “It’s gone so quick, but I have loved being a lollipop lady for all of it. Don’t get me wrong, the winter is a struggle but seeing the kids every day and having banter with them and their parents makes it all worth it. Honestly, the kids are just so funny. They make my day!”
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “We’d like to thank Josie for all her hard work during the last 40 years. Josie is an absolute credit to the community and is widely recognised by many. We hope she continues to thrive in her role, and we thank her again for everything that she has done and continues to do.”
David Cullum, road safety education officer at Equans, added: “I’ve worked with Josie for over seven years now and it’s been an absolute pleasure being Josie’s manager. Josie has built a strong relationship with all the pedestrians that cross with her as she continues to serve the local community. We would like to thank Josie for all the years she has worked with us and the community.”
North East Lincolnshire Council and its delivery partner Equans would like to say a huge thank you to Josie for her commitment to the local community, come rain or shine, and the tremendous work she has achieved as a school crossing patrol officer for over 40 years.