Churchill Insurance has launched a campaign in which it pledges to train and fund 50 new school crossing patrols (SCPs) across the UK.
The campaign, which has the support of Brake and PTA UK, will give the public the opportunity to nominate a primary school they feel is in need of a SCP.
Once the 50 schools are selected, Churchill will work with local councils and SCP officers to train and fund the new recruits ahead of the 2016/17 school year.
Churchill says an increasing number of ‘iconic’ lollipop men and women are disappearing, despite research from Road Safety Analysis which shows that 55% of child pedestrian casualties occur during the school run. The insurer hopes its campaign will help raise awareness of the key role they play, despite diminishing numbers.
Lucy Brooksbank, head of marketing at Churchill, said: “Lollipoppers are the stalwarts of our communities, national treasures who bring fun and joy to the school run, as well as importantly keeping children safe.
“With child pedestrian casualties during the school run still an issue in the UK, we want to put 50 Lollipoppers on school crossings. We want people from across the UK, whether they are a parent or just concerned about a local crossing, to nominate their schools and help to keep children safe during the school run.”
The actor Robert Webb, who helped launch the campaign, said: “Being a dad I’m always concerned for my children’s safety, especially during the school run when they can be easily distracted. I’m delighted to help Churchill to get Lollipoppers on the streets of Britain.”
Richard Hall, Road Safety GB’s spokesperson on the SCP service, said: “Road Safety GB fully supports the SCP service and the important role patrols play in the local community in providing a safer crossing for children and other pedestrians.
“The difficult financial position that local authorities are facing is having an impact on services and any scheme that helps put more patrols on the street is welcomed.”
Emma Williams, executive director of PTA UK, added: “Clearly the wellbeing of our children is the priority for everyone and we are delighted to support Churchill’s campaign. Not only will this put more lollipop men and women on our streets, it will also enable parents, PTAs and schools to work together to make the school run safer.”
The deadline to nominate a primary school is Monday 16 May.