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It’s Lollipop Idol 2010
Thursday 17th June, 2010

It’s Lollipop Idol 2010
Joanne receives her award from Wigan Council's Rick Laithwaite.

They are not wannabes or singing sensations – they are real life savers. And each year, children and families across the borough get to nominate the very best school crossing patrol.

“I was thrilled and astonished!” says Joanna Ashcroft. She’s been the much-loved patrol at Wood Fold School in Standish for ten years. Chosen as the best in the borough by a panel including the council’s head of highways and bosses at MetroFresh, who run the patrol service for Wigan Council, Joanna receives a special trophy and the honour of being ‘Lollipop Idol’ for 2010.

Nominations flooded in from across the borough for patrols at primary and secondary schools. The judging panel were also looking for the best submissions too. And it was one from five-year-old Adam Winterbottom from Woodfield School in Wigan which caught their attention for its mature use of colour.

Leading the judges was Cllr David Molyneux, the cabinet champion for the environment. Cllr Molyneux, who also sits on the borough’s road safety forum, says: “Very well done Adam and Joanna. The standard of entries from the children who participated was excellent. It took a great deal of time to decide the winners but Adam’s entry and Joanna’s nominations stood out.”

This week, the award for the borough’s best patrol was presented to Joanna Ashcroft at Wood Fold School during a special morning assembly attended by the whole school. Joanna was completely unaware she was to receive the award.

As part of the assembly six children from the school read out poetry they had written about Mrs Ashcroft and her work as a School Crossing Patrol which had been submitted as entries in the competition. The children then sang to her before the assembly ended.

Adam Winterbottom, was presented with a JJB sports voucher for £50 at his school a few weeks ago to recognise his memorable nomination. “I want to buy a new football and a football strip with the money,” he said.

Wigan Council’s MetroFresh bosses were delighted with the wide support for the competition from the majority of schools across the borough, and the high standard of entries.

School crossing service manager Rick Laithwaite adds: “Joanna Ashcroft has given dedicated service to the community – not only on crossing duties but as school caretaker too. The whole school got behind her nomination and she was a worthy winner. We’re always looking out for new patrols to join our team – get in touch and who knows, you may become our winner next year!"

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