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Schoolchildren congratulate their former lollipop lady as she is named Bexley Star

PUBLISHED: 09:06 18 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:06 18 November 2016

Ex-lollipop lady Yvonne Cocksedge with schoolchildren she has helped

Ex-lollipop lady Yvonne Cocksedge with schoolchildren she has helped

Archant

She began her career in 1974 and has worked through storms and freezing winters

Schoolchildren turned out to congratulate former Erith lollipop lady Yvonne Cocksedge this week as she collected her award for being a Bexley Star.

Youngsters from Slade Green Primary School and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Temple Grove (North) Academy paid their respects as the 71-year-old made her way to an awards event at Hall Place on Tuesday.

Mrs Cocksedge, who retired in July due to ill-health, has helped thousands of children and their families cross the road safely during her 42 years of service.

She was selected as a special representative in the category of Outstanding Service in the council’s staff recognition scheme, called Stars, and also won the Overall Winner’s Award for 2016.

Mayor of Bexley Eileen Pallen was so impressed with Mrs Cocksedge’s story that she sent her car to take her to the special ceremony.

After the event Mrs Cocksedge said: “This afternoon was such a lovely surprise. To see the children outside the school, near my lollipop site, waving their congratulations brought me to tears.

“I have loved every moment of being a lollipop lady. It is simply the best job in the world.”

She began work as a School Crossing Patrol in Erith in June 1974 and later moved to Slade Green, and in recent years she has been helping the grandchildren of the children she helped at the start of her career. Her job has involved working in every type of weather imaginable, including the summer of 1976, the Great Storm of 1987 and the freezing winters of 1978 and 1979.

Paul Moore, the council’s director of place, communities and infrastructure, said: “Yvonne is an inspiration to us all. She has given an enormous part of her life to ensuring the safety of Bexley children.

“She truly is a Bexley star and I want to thank her most sincerely for her contribution to her community.”

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