A young County Durham woman is following in her father’s footsteps after starting work as a lollipop lady.
Samantha Yuill, 20, has become Durham County Council’s youngest school crossing patrol after taking up the post.
She was inspired to get into the profession by her father Robert, 51, who has been crossing children from local schools for the past four years.
Samantha said: “I used to watch my dad out on the road when I was younger and I thought it looked like a nice, rewarding career to get into – and it’s a bit different from my other job as a cleaner.
“I’m really enjoying it so far. Everyone is so friendly and I would definitely encourage other young people to consider becoming a school crossing patrol.”
Her new job involves making sure pupils and their parents from Ouston Junior School, Ouston Infant School and St Benet’s Primary School get safely across the road every morning and afternoon.
She is based on Ouston Lane in Ouston, near Chester-le-Street – a short distance away from dad Robert whose patch includes St Benet’s Way, outside St Benet’s Primary School where he crosses children from St Benet’s and Ouston Junior School.
He said: “Before I became a school crossing patrol I worked in a factory, I was a security guard and I was also a mechanic, so I have done all sorts.
“I will have a go at anything and I got into this because I was looking after our three children when they were younger while my wife was out at work and I really enjoy it.
“It’s so satisfying being able to help these children and give them little bits of help and advice and it is nice knowing that Samantha is just around the corner doing the same thing.”
There are more than 180 school crossing patrol locations throughout County Durham in sites where pupils regularly need to cross the road on their way to school.
Staff who operate the crossing points brave all weathers, come rain or shine, to make sure children can safely get across busy roads.
Paul Watson, Durham County Council’s road safety manager, said: “It is fantastic that Samantha has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a school crossing patrol.
“We are encouraged by the number of younger people applying for and being trained to become a patrol, for what is a vital road safety service delivered direct to the community.
“At 20 years of age Samantha is our youngest employee and Robert has been with the road safety team for four years and has made a career as a school crossing patrol after previously working in Sunderland.
“We are delighted to welcome Samantha to the service and hope that she finds the job enjoyable and very rewarding.”