National award for Aberdeen crossing patroller

An Aberdeen school crossing patroller was back at work on Monday after being awarded a national prize at a ceremony in Glasgow last week.

Pearl Rendall was congratulated by delighted pupils and fellow staff members from Kingsford School on Kingsford Road, Sheddocksley.

The 72-year-old beat off competition from across the country to be named as School Crossing Patroller of the Year at the ASSIST Scotland National Local Authority FM awards at the Grand Central Hotel.

Stephanie Campbell, a cook-in-charge at Hazlehead School, narrowly missed out on another award, finishing in third place in the National School Cook of Year category.

Pearl has been a school crossing patroller for 35 years, first starting as a relief lollipop lady in the Northfield area of the city.

She started at Kingsford School in January 1982 and has been there ever since, ensuring three generations of school pupils cross the road safely.

Pearl said: "I was absolutely thrilled to win the award. I never thought that I would, even though my manager was convinced that I would win."

"I think that all the school crossing patrollers should get an award because are all doing the same job, we are all out in the same kind of weather all year round coping with all the traffic and the children as they come and go from the school".

"I have a great rapport with all the parents and grandparents – many of them have known me for years and it is important that we have a good relationship".

"I have said before that I would keep going and do this for another five years, but I maybe will be able to do it for longer – I have got to be sensible and take it day by day."

Kingsford School head teacher Audrey Walker said: "Everyone at Kingsford is delighted for Pearl – she really is a great asset to our school and the local community. Nothing is ever too much for her and Pearl’s cheery smile and genuine interest in the children brightens up everyone’s day."

Aberdeen City Council’s Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Angela Taylor, said: "We were delighted to hear that Pearl had won and that Stephanie had finished third – everybody is very proud of their achievements."

"It is great that Pearl has been recognised for her hard work and dedication and not least the interaction she has with children at the school"

"We have hundreds of other school crossing patrollers and catering staff who are a credit to Aberdeen City Council and the work they do is appreciated by pupils, teachers and parents alike."

The awards event in Glasgow was held following the ASSIST FM AGM and annual conference, which was attended by facilities management representatives from local authorities across Scotland.