A LOLLIPOP lady who has helped three generations of children get to school safely has celebrated 25 years in the job.
Stalwart Judy Cook, 65, has worked as a crossing patrol officer at Swanmore Church of England School, in Church Road, since her own son started 25 years ago.
Judy, affectionately known as nana, said: ‘I often get adults ask if I remember them.
‘The best thing about the job is caring for the children. Sometimes they arrive tearful or may need comforting.
‘I’m often the first person they see on a morning and so I always try to greet them with a smile and a friendly word.
‘I hope to do continue this job for a few more years but I could never see myself working at any other school.’
Parent Stacey Jons, 38, said: ‘Judy used to help me and my husband across the road and she now looks after my daughter.
‘She always looks forward to seeing her – the children love Judy.’
Her daughter Elle, eight, added: ‘Judy is always smiling and friendly.’
Even at her lowest point, after having been diagnosed with breast cancer, Judy didn’t miss a day of duty and took solace in her role.
‘Seeing the children every day cheered me up – I was determined to be there to help them,’ she said.
It was this determination which saw Judy, who has been a librarian and lunch-time supervisor, presented with the prestigious accolade of Children’s Champion at the Kidscape’s Awards.
One of the funniest moments for Judy in her role was when triplets arrived at the school.
‘On their first day they told me they were “stroplets” and for the next six years that is how they would refer to themselves,’ she said.
But she is concerned about the increases in the volume of traffic and number of impatient drivers since starting the role in September 1994.
School headteacher John Paterson said: ‘Everyone values Judy's significant and longstanding commitment to the village and the children's safety. It’s wonderful to have a crossing patrol.’