LORRAINE KELLY LAUNCHES SEARCH FOR THE NATION’S TOP LOLLIPOP PERSON
THE search to
find the UK’s top Lollipop person has launched with TV favourite
Lorraine Kelly joining children on their big yellow double decker
school bus and taking to the streets of Britain. Lorraine
officially launched the Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the
Year Awards 2008, which will include finding the North West’s top
crossing patroller, and encouraged school children across the region
to vote for their lollipop person.
The annual awards aim to recognise the hard work and important role
of school crossing patrollers and will this year branch out from
Scotland, where the competition has run since 2003, to crown special
Lollipop people from across the UK. The search will find 11
regional winners and one overall Lollipop Person of the Year, with
the winners receiving over £7000 worth of prizes. The overall
winner’s school will also get an exclusive performance from
Britain’s Got Talent winner and street dancing sensation George
The North West is home to some top lollipop people, including
78 year old Joan McLoughlin who was honoured with an MBE from the
Queen in June 2008 after patrolling at the Oak Tree crossing in
Huyton, Mersyside, for an amazing 41 years. Another good candidate
is Mary Cross from Manchester who, at 80 years of age, is still
crossing children at Reddish Road in Stockport. Organisers of the
Lollipop Person of the Year Awards are hoping to hear about
similarly outstanding crossing patrollers from across the country.
Lorraine Kelly said:- “The Lollipop Person of the Year Awards
is an important way to recognise and draw attention to people who
make the roads safer for our children. Crossing patrollers are vital
in communities across the UK and, as a parent, I think it’s
important to highlight what a fantastic job they do for our kids.
This year the
competition is bigger than ever before and more children have the
opportunity to show how their lollipop person makes a real
difference. Kids, teachers and parents alike – show your support for
your local lollipop person by casting your vote now!”
Organisers are hoping to hear from school children across the North
West who think that their Lollipop person is Britain’s best. They
are encouraging children to get creative with their entries and
write, draw or even sing about how great their crossing patroller
Bert Main, Business Development Director at Kwik Fit Insurance,
said:- “This year the Lollipop Person of the Year Awards will
recognise crossing patrollers across the UK and we’re hoping to
receive plenty of nominations for lollipop people from the North
West. We’re looking for individuals who really go above and beyond
the call of duty to make the school journey safer for our children.
In previous years we’ve been inundated with drawings, poems, posters
and letters from school children showing why their lollipop person
deserves an award, so we’re hoping to get a similar response this
The initiative is supported by Brake, the UK road safety charity,
and is part of an ongoing programme of road safety initiatives from
Kwik Fit Insurance. Katie Shephard, Education Manager at Brake,
said:- “Lollipop people are community heroes who risk their
lives every day to keep our children safe on the roads. Brake is
delighted that Kwik Fit Insurance are launching this competition. We
hope it will help remind children and their parents to be safe on
the road, as well as rewarding lollipop people who are crucial to
protecting children near their schools.”
The winners of the Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year
Awards and their schools will receive a range of prizes including
holiday vouchers, school books, shoes from children’s footwear brand
Buckle My Shoe and a special visit from George Sampson.
Nominations for the
Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year Awards 2008 will be
taken until Friday 24 October 2008.
More information and entry
details can be found at
Merseyside opticians give Zambia the gift of sight
across Merseyside raised over £1000 on the 5 October towards the
construction of an eye care clinic in Zambia.
Specsavers, at Southport donated a proportion of the day’s takings
together with stores in Bootle, Norris Green and central Liverpool
to Vision Aid Overseas, the UK charity dedicated to helping people
in developing countries whose lives are blighted by bad eyesight.
The Southport store has also been donating a further 50p to the fund
for each pair of unwanted glasses that are donated and will match
the sum collected in the collection tins that have been in store.
They Merseyside stores joined more than 450 Specsavers stores across
the country in collectively raising more than a quarter of a million
pounds on Sunday, which will go towards building the first VAO
training facility and a brand new eye clinic in Zambia.
Store director at Specsavers in Southport, Stuart Roberts, says:-
"This is an extremely worthwhile project. Store staff and
customers gave their all to make the day a big success and raise as
much money as possible to help give people in Zambia the gift of
sight. I would like to thank everyone for the time they gave up and
for their generosity."
The fundraising activity has been kicked off to mark World Sight Day
on Thursday 9 October 2008.
Zambia is a southern African country with a population of 12 million
people but no public eyecare provision. People walk for miles to
attend a clinic in the hope of receiving glasses. The money raised
by Specsavers will fund a new building that will include a
laboratory, optical workshop and eyecare clinic, offering vital
optical services to millions.
"We also collected pairs of used specs on the day, which will
be taken by VAO to countries, like Zambia, and dispensed to people
with little current access to eyecare. These old specs can be truly
life-changing and we invite our customers to drop their unwanted
glasses into our VAO collection bins in stores any time."
The project in Zambia is supported by celebrity photographer Penny
Lancaster Stewart, wife of rock legend Rod Stewart. Penny
says:- "The difference that something as simple as glasses can
make to a person in Zambia is tremendous. We take eyecare for
granted because it is readily available on every high street but to
the people of Zambia, it might mean that they can see their child
for the first time, or that they can return to work to fend for
their family, which they have been unable to do because they cannot
see properly. It can be truly life changing"
It is intended that, with Specsavers’ help, VAO will have the clinic
open in early 2010. Specsavers is also supplying optical equipment
and resources and will work with the VAO team to dispense glasses
and train Zambian opticians so they are able to maintain the clinic
VAO director Tym Marsh says:- "We are very grateful to
Specsavers across Merseyside and Penny Lancaster Stewart for
supporting this vital project. Thanks to the hard work and effort of
Specsavers stores across the country, the money raised will help
Zambians help themselves in the fight against uncorrected refractive
UK-based charity VAO is dedicated to helping the eyesight of people
in the developing world by sending teams of volunteer optometrists
and dispensing opticians to target countries to set up clinics and
screen patients. To make a donation or book an eye examination
in Specsavers in Southport, please call 01704 501 944 or visit