Published: Monday, 21st October 2019
Joyce Cooper retired from her role as a lollipop lady for Conway Primary School in Plumstead on Friday 18 October after 45 years of public service in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Well-wishers including Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council; school children; shopkeepers; family; friends and neighbours turned out to surprise Joyce on her last day and present her with a gift and bouquet of flowers.
Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said:
"Joyce is an inspiration to us all. There are not many people who can say they have served their local community for 45 years and made such a valuable contribution to keeping children safe. As this year’s Royal Borough of Greenwich Civic Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner, she is no stranger to the limelight, but I am delighted to have another opportunity to recognise her work. Her retirement is a great loss for Plumstead, but we wish her all the best for the future."
Joyce Cooper, lollipop lady, Plumstead High Street, said:
"It was a very emotional day. There was so much going on it was very tearful. It is the children that I am going to miss. They talk to you and tell you their stories – which I can’t repeat! I have seen them grow up and come back with their own children."
Lollipop women and men, officially known as school crossing patrollers, make sure that people cross the road safely during the school day. The 44 school crossing patrols are just one of the ways that the Royal Borough of Greenwich works to keep pupils safe. Other initiatives include School Streets, a scheme that closes roads around schools at peak times; and school travel plans, that encourage safer walking, cycling and use of public transport.