A LOLLIPOP lady has celebrated 40 years of helping children cross the road safely at the school she serves every day.

Jean Witt was just 35 when she started helping at Corfe Mullen’s Lockyers Middle and Rushcombe First Schools in 1974.

She then moved to Merley First School in 1984, where she has worked ever since.

Jean, 75, is one of the country’s longest serving school crossing patrol officers, but says she has no intention of hanging up her lollipop sign yet.

“It’s a very responsible job and I take the safety of all pedestrians who use my crossing very seriously,” she said.

“I love to see all the children and their parents everyday and now I am crossing the children of children, it’s lovely to be part of such a friendly community.”

To help celebrate Jean’s fantastic achievement, the pupils and staff at Merley First School held a special assembly and presented her with flowers and cards, along with a commemorative 40th anniversary badge and a mini edible crossing patrol lollipop from the Borough of Poole.

Jean, whose first great-grandchild was born on Valentine’s Day, said: “I really enjoy my job.

“When we’re on school holidays I miss it terribly. It’s just a wonderful thing to do.”

Sally Birley, head teacher at the school, said: “We really value Jean at Merley First School.

“She not only helps to keep the children safe but also knows all the children and parents and has a cheery smile for everyone.”

Councillor Xena Dion, council cabinet portfolio holder for a prosperous and sustainable Poole, said: “School Crossing Patrol Officers provide an important service to our local community where children need help to cross busy roads.

“We are very fortunate that Jean has dedicated herself to this service in Poole. We are really proud of her achievements and we hope she enjoyed her well-deserved celebrations.”