They are a special breed, the crossing patrol wardens.
Standing out in all weather, morning and night, they help keep youngsters safe on journeys to and from school - and often with little appreciation from the drivers with whom they come into daily contact.
Once known as lollipop ladies and men, they are increasingly a rare sight outside school gates.
Hard work for limited hours is not the attraction it once was, while commitment to the job is all important.
Two nominees competed for the Best Crossing Patrol Person crown at the Best in Education awards, with seemingly little to choose between them.
Highly commended was Colin Dancer, who has worked on Walkley Lane and Morley Street close to Rivelin Primary School since 2011.
He’s rated as having a ‘difficult beat’ as in fact he has three crossings to cover.
Judges heard he’s constantly back and forth between the roads and never stands still for a second.
But the award went to Annetta Wild, who has patrolled her crossing on Loundside at Chapeltown for the pupils at Lound Junior School since 2009.
Again the judges were told that Annetta, 61, has a very difficult crossing as it lies on the brow of a hill where visibility is not always good. But her nomination adds: “While often faced with difficult circumstances Annetta always has a smile on her face,”
Annetta said she’d applied for a crossing, had signed up and found that she loved the job.
“I’m there every morning, come snow, hail, rain or wind,” she said.
“I look after all the children and often meet the parents and have a chat. I worked in an office before so this was something very different.
“I took it on because I was taking care of my mum and it was something I could easily fit in.
“I don’t mind the weather and they are great hours, just three quarters of an hour in the morning and the same in the afternoon.
“I’m keen to carry on for quite a few years yet as it’s a lovely school.”
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