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Barking and Dagenham lollipop lady saved after private company’s sponsorship

PUBLISHED: 17:15 29 March 2016 | UPDATED: 15:48 30 March 2016

Lollipop lady Marie Douglas, whose services have been guaranteed after a private company offered sponsorship

Lollipop lady Marie Douglas, whose services have been guaranteed after a private company offered sponsorship

Archant

One lollipop lady’s future has been guaranteed after a sponsorship deal was agreed with a private company – but questions remain about other guardians of the road.

TEB Builders, of Hornchurch, will ensure Marie Douglas is on hand to help children cross Barking and Dagenham roads safely in a move that shows the “community spirit of East London is alive and well”.

Eleven men and women were expecting to permanently hang up their lollipops on Friday because the council said it could no longer afford their services.

That changed earlier in the month, however, as their presence on the roads was extended to September.

Marie hailed TEB’s “fantastic” decision to sponsor her – making her London’s first privately funded lollipop lady – and hopes more deals can be made to save the rest of the service.

“It shows what a forward-thinking business they are and hopefully they are paving the way for other companies to put something back into the community.”

Both Marie and the council had been actively searching for companies to offer sponsorships, and council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell praised Marie’s attitude.

“I want to say how proud we are of Marie, who has shown great initiative in looking for private funding,” he said.

“There’s no point moaning about your lot and doing nothing – in the age of austerity we’ve all got to get on and think creatively to save services. Both Marie and TEB have shown the community spirit of east London is alive and well in Barking and Dagenham.”

TEB Builders said the company was “thrilled” to sponsor Marie, and hoped its example is followed by others.

“TEB Builders are a shining example of a progressive community-minded business,” Cllr Rodwell said.

“We have had to look at alternative ways of funding because of the massive pressure on our budgets and TEB have stepped up to the mark.”


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