Lollipop man, 89, made redundant from lifeline job by east London council after 24 years

Alfred Tollen has been working in Romford for 24 years (Go Fund Me / Paula Leahy)

An 89-year-old lollipop man has been made redundant from his job that “gets him out of bed” due to an east London council’s cutbacks.

Alfred Tollon, from Romford, had been working at Harrow Lodge Primary School for 24 years and the work has helped him manage after the death of his wife, the BBC has reported.

Havering Council said financial pressures had led them to let him go and leave them unable to insure him to work for free – as was his wish.

“I would do it for nothing,” Mr Tollen told the Romford Recorder. “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.”

His granddaughter Bethany added: “[The job] gets him up in the morning and gets him out of bed.”

A GoFundMe page has now raised more than £1,000 towards his retirement.

Paula Leahy, who set up the page, wrote: “Alf has been 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.

“I’m hoping to raise as much as possible for Alf to be able to enjoy his retirement.

“But more importantly, [I want him] to see just how much he means to each and everyone of us!”

Ms Leahy had put his age at 89 but other news outlets said he is 93-years-old.

Havering Council has said that other lollipop staff have also had their employment reviewed.

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.”

Recommended For You