22 March
Crossing patrol guide

Although a non-statutory service, the Council has provided School Crossing Patrol Guides for many years. Currently, there are 82 approved sites that have guides but there is a growing need for roles to be filled across the county. 

The positions average 10 hours per week, 1-hour morning and 1-hour afternoon for 38 weeks per year.

Heather Pike and Paul Meenan are crossing patrol guides in Linlithgow mainly serving the walking routes into Lowport Primary School. They have both spoken about what the role means to them and offered an insight into the benefits that come with the job both personally and professionally.

Heather has been a patrol guide for over 13 years and the tradition has run through the family.

She said: "My Mum was the first lollipop Lady in Linlithgow and my Dad was a lollipop man at Lowport Primary school for 22 years, so when my Daughter left school I decided to apply and have been doing it now for 13 years.

"Knowing that you're helping the children in learning how to cross the road safely, every day is different and I find it very rewarding.

And she offered the following advice for others who are interested in following in her footsteps.

"Be friendly, have patience, be able to stay calm in any situation and always have a smile for everyone."

Paul Meenan is newer to the role following three decades working in the prison service and summed up his experience to date saying:

"I had worked as a Prison Officer for over 30 years which meant I had to work shifts and weekends. I didn't want to do this anymore so when the job came up the hours and holidays suited me. It's like any other job you really don't know what it's like till you start and I love my job.

"The best part of my job is working in Linlithgow the town I have always stayed in, where I work is also the route of the Riding of the Marches. I don't just cross the children, I also help adults cross the road, it is also within walking distance from my home.  I find the job rewarding and the parents and all the school staff are very helpful and the children are amazing.

"The qualities that a person needs to be a patrol guide are patience, punctuality, being able to work on your own good communication skills, and sense of humour."

Lowport Primary School Headteacher, Mark Wheelhouse said: "Both Heather and Paul are a fantastic extension to our school community. School Crossing Patrol Guides assist both the school and families of pupils in engaging children to think about road safety. They provide a familiar face for our pupils to engage and interact with and develop their social skills."

The full job advert is available via the myjobscotland website where you can also complete an application.

Alternatively contact Katherine.Whalen@westlothian.gov.uk for further information on the role