Hollingworth Primary making a stand for their lollipop lifesaver
Friday 8th February 2019 @ 14:22 by David Jones
Hyde News Tameside

A village school at the side of one of the North West’s busiest roads is raising cash to keep its children safe.

Hollingworth Primary has until April to commit to raising over £12,000 to make up the shortfall in funding over the next two years.

Failing to provide Tameside Borough Council with that commitment could run the risk of children crossing the A628 Market Street unsupervised.

It’s a prospect head teacher Susan Tickle is refusing to contemplate, but it could happen if the cash is not forthcoming.

But she’s prepared to consider almost any kind of sponsorship – including logos on lollipop lady Denise Howard’s uniform – to make sure that does not happen.

She said: “It (the A628) is one of the busiest roads in the North West, if not the whole of the country.

“We have no choice, we have to have a crossing warden.”

Denise Howard loves her job – she’s been doing it for 16 years!

The council gives its schools a certain amount of money every year and Mrs Tickle says the authority will not provide extra funding for a crossing patrol.

It comes after the council delegated money from its crossing patrol budget to its schools to do with as they wished.

Mrs Tickle adds that lollipop lady Denise also sees pupils from nearby Longdendale High School across the road, which carries trans-Pennine traffic between Yorkshire and Manchester.

But that the secondary school says its own budget is ‘too tight’ to contribute.

Mrs Tickle says local people are supporting the appeal, as are the Friends of Hollingworth.

“We are now looking at support from businesses,” she said, adding that sponsorship could include company banners on the school gates, logos on the diaries that go to every parent and branding on Denise’s uniform.

Denise helps children across the traffic-clogged A628.

Denise has got used to huge HGVs thundering down on her – she has shepherded children across the road for 16 years and loves the job.

And she knows that she is desperately needed.

Denise said: “The other day a Year Six (pupil) walked into the middle of the road when the traffic was stationary and along the side of a lorry.

“The traffic started to move off, the driver could not see him as he (the boy) was probably smaller than the cab.

“I ran out and shouted to the driver who managed to stop. Someone told me that what I had done saved his life.”

Added Denise: “It is a very busy road, it’s not only Hollingworth children who come to the school, there are children from Hadfield and Glossop.”

People and businesses interested in donating or sponsorship can contact the school, or visit the Friends of Hollingworth website where there are also details of how to contribute through crowdfunding.