PARENTS and businesses have united to help keep children safe by raising enough cash to sponsor a school’s lollipop lady after council bosses pulled the plug.
Five firms from across the borough clubbed together to answer pleas from safety-conscious pupils at Laughton Junior and Infant School for help in raising the £3,000 needed to keep crossing patrol officer Jackie Atkins.
Head teacher Emma Gill said the school was now just £300 short of its target and the crossing patrols were secured until next April.
Sponsorship and donations have come in from firms including JD Transport at Dinnington, Meijer Potatoes, MJM Haulage, O & P Construction and Hopewell Pet and Animal Feeds.
Ms Gill said: “We cannot thank everyone enough for clubbing together to help.
“We are just £300 short but Jackie is back in post.”
The appeal for help came after Rotherham Borough Council revealed School Road outside the school in Laughton-en-le-Morthen had been selected as one of seven lollipop points to lose its funding from March as it did not meet the criteria required for a patrol to be necessary.
Donations and sponsorship came after the school’s junior road safety officers Cairo Hopewell and Sophie Bell wrote a heartfelt letter to businesses.
In the letter, they said the school “was on a really busy road that people usually speed on” and that they were “worried about someone getting injured or even killed”.
Matt Turner, whose two children Lilly (8) and Harvey (5) are both pupils at the school, said he was “extremely happy” that Jackie was staying on for another year.
“I think next year will be Jackie’s 20th year at the school and she knows all the children’s names,” he said.
“It will make a huge difference having her around, especially with how busy the road is and the speed of motorists.”