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Colchester's Janet Felton receives British Empire Medal for 20 years service to the children of Old Heath Primary School
9:08am Friday 20th September 2013 in News
A GUARDIAN angel who has kept generations of children safe has been recognised for her efforts.
81-year-old lollipop lady Janet Felton received her British Empire Medal at Old Heath Primary School surrounded by her second family on Wednesday.
She was presented with the prestigious honour by Lord Petre, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex who represents the Queen in the county.
Friends and family joined the pupils to cheer the lady they nominated who has patrolled and controlled the road by the school for 20 years.
The choir sang Abba’s I have a Dream in tribute to their own angel Janet.
Speaking after the emotional ceremony she said: “It didn’t take long after I started for me to fall in love with the children and the school.
Janet Felton“The children wrote letters to the Queen and I thought they were so kind to put my name forward they deserved to be part of the celebration and there was no place better to receive it.
“It is a wonderful job and I am very proud and humbled to receive the medal.
“The children wrote letters to the Queen and I thought they were so kind to put my name forward they deserved to be part of the celebration and there was no place better to receive it.
“When I put my shoes on and walk out the gates they walk me to this school. It is a second home.”
Lord Petre said: “It is fairly unusual to present this at a school but it is lovely to do it in front of those who have benefited from her service.
“It is a special honour and there is no machinery in place to find people who are deserving however great they are, they have to be nominated.
“And it is great honour to present it on behalf of the Queen.”
Headteacher Jeremy Hallum thanked Janet for her years of service and for choosing to receive the honour at the school.
He said: “It did not surprise me because that is the sort of lady she is. “She is very humble and wanted to share it with the children.
“It has been fantastic and it was great for us all to see the Lord Lieutenant.
“I am sure we will have the medal going around the school soon.”
He described Janet as “always there when we need her” and praised the special relationship she has with the children.
He added: “She cannot do enough to help and always has a smile on her face.
“It is difficult to imagine the school without her.”
And they won’t have to because Janet has promised to keep helping children cross the road for years to come.
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