The number of lollipop men and women outside UK schools has plummeted in recent years – and now comedian Robert Webb is launching a campaign to bring back the ‘national treasure’.
Working with insurance company Churchill and road safety charity Brake, Webb will be leading the campaign to recruit 50 lollipop men and women (being described by the campaign as ‘lollipoppers’) and deploy them at primary schools across the UK from September.
Webb said: “Being a dad I’m always concerned for my children’s safety, especially during the school run when they can be easily distracted. I remember my Lollipopper growing up, Barbara, and the influence she had on me at the school crossing and I want to be safe in the knowledge my kids have the same guardian keeping an eye on them. I’m delighted to help Churchill to get Lollipoppers on the streets of Britain!”
Legislation introduced in 2000 stated it was no longer a legal requirement for councils to employ school crossing patrols and, since then, numbers have nosedived – even though more than half of child pedestrian casualties take place during the school run.
Head of marketing at Churchill, Lucy Brooksbank, added: “Lollipoppers are the stalwarts of our communities, national treasures who bring fun and joy to the school run, as well as importantly keeping children safe. Churchill looks out for customer’s best interests, so what better way to demonstrate that than by supporting our Lollipoppers and taking action to keep them on our streets?
“With child pedestrian casualties during the school run still an issue in the UK, we want to put 50 Lollipoppers on school crossings. We want people from across the UK, whether they are a parent or just concerned about a local crossing, to nominate their schools and help to keep children safe during the school run.”
Nominations for primary schools to be considered for a ‘lollipopper’ are open from now until 16th May, with selected schools announced by 10th June. The crossing patrol officers will be recruited from the local community and trained and be on the road for the new school year in September.