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01st Apr 2024

Lollipop man, 89, made redundant by council after 24 years despite offering to work for free

Charlie Herbert

Lollipop man, 89, made redundant by council after 24 years despite offering to work for free

‘I would do it for nothing’

An 89-year-old lollipop man has been made redundant after 24 years as part of council cutbacks.

Romford local Alfred Tollon had been working at Harrow Lodge Primary School for more than two decades, but Havering Council have decided to let him go.

The council cited “unprecedented financial challenges” as the reason behind the decision, the BBC reports.

Tollon had offered to work without pay, but the council were unable to insure him to work for free.

The pensioner said the job “gets me up in the morning” and had helped him cope with the death of his wife.

He told the Romford Recorder: “I would do it for nothing.

“It gets me up in the morning, otherwise I’m just gonna lay in bed for a few hours.

“I feel fit, whereas if I wasn’t doing anything I’d just fall apart I think.”

Tollon said the job had kept him motivated after his wife died and it was “the children that make my day”.

His granddaughter Bethany added: “It gets him up in the morning and gets him out of bed.”

Following the news that Tollon was being made redundant, a GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for his retirement.

Set up by local Paula Leahy, the page has so far raised £1,125 for the “beloved lollypop man.”

Leahy described Tollon as a “staple in our school community, and has seen many of our children grow from babies to adults, seeing them to school safely in all weathers.”

She wrote: “Now Alf is not like any other 89 year old I have ever met and had a zest for life, so I’m hoping to raise as much as possible for Alf to be able to enjoy his retirement,

“But more importantly to see just how much he means to each and everyone of us!!!”

In a statement, Havering Council said Tollon’s redundancy was part of a general review of the “school crossing patrol service.”

A spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, we can’t comment on individual cases, but as many residents will be aware, the council is facing financial challenges, and as part of that we have carried out a review of the school crossing patrol service.

“As a result, we have restructured the service which, sadly, has meant a number of staff redundancies.”

Related links:

Waitress who refused to share £3,500 tip with co-workers told not to return to work

Company slammed for ‘pathetic’ retirement party for man who worked 42 years on minimum wage


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