Award for Coral’s long service in Hailsham

Coral Whyman
Coral Whyman

A lollipop lady who has helped children cross the road safely to school for more than 40 years has been recognised with an award presentation and theatre show.

Last week the Express reported how Coral Whyman was celebrating her career on Friday (March 27).

She is the longest serving lollipop lady in East Sussex and has been a crossing patrol officer at White House Academy for 42 years.

Coral said she has no plans to stop because she loves her job.

She was honoured for her dedication by the Mayor of Hailsham, cllr Jo Bentley, who attended a special ceremony and lunch at the school, presenting Coral with a shield.

Coral said she was delighted to receive her awards and be invited by teaching staff and pupils to the pantomime performance.

She said: “It’s so rewarding to have recognition for our work. We work outside in all weather conditions performing a very important service and greatly appreciate it when drivers are polite and patient.”

Among those who attended alongside the Mayor and school teachers, staff and pupils were Wealden MP Charles Hendry and his wife Sallie.

Representatives from Sussex Police and Hailsham Rotary Club also attended, both presenting additional donations to raise funds to cover the annual costs of Coral’s continued employment, ensuring children can safely cross the road outside their school.

After the presentation, the entire school, with Coral and guests, attended the live pantomime performance of Robin Hood at Hailsham Pavilion, organised by the Friends of White House School.

The event was staged by a professional theatre company and included audience involvement and participation.

Town Clerk John Harrison said: “Since School Crossing Patrols were officially introduced some 50 or more years ago, traffic on our streets has increased to considerable levels and the job of the lollipop person has increased in importance as a result, because they protect our school children in an ever more hazardous environment.

“Congratulations to Coral on this wonderful achievement and for her sterling work.”