Newtownabbey resident, Steve Carter, received a top accolade at the recent Northern Ireland Road Safety awards.
The father-of-four won the Lollipop Person of the Year award at the event at Cultra Manor on Friday, November 22.
Steve, who has been a patrol man for St Marys On The Hill Primary School for five years, has been overwhelmed by the support he received.
Mr Carter, who had worked in advertising and banking before the death of his wife during the birth of their fourth child, said the role at the Glengormley-based school has been “a lifeline”.
He added: “The job has been so rewarding. All of my children attended St Marys and it was the perfect match to get to work there while my children were also there. It is so nice to be recognised in this way by the community.”
Mr Carter was nominated for the award by Lisa Hamilton, Secretary of Newtownabbey Road Safety Committee.
Lisa said: “Steve has been instrumental in making the road outside the school considerably safer. He has taken initiative in a number of key safety projects for the school, such as working with the Department for Infrastructure to install road signs to ensure Carnmoney Road congestion is reduced at heavy traffic times.
“Steve is also the most welcoming and cheerful person that you could ever wish to meet. He is generally the first contact for many of the pupils of the school and they are always greeted with a smile and a welcoming hello.”
Pat Martin MBE, Chairperson of Road Safe NI added: “We had a fantastic response to the awards again. There is such a vibrant and committed road safety community working all over Northern Ireland.
“We are delighted to play our part in recognising those who go the extra mile. The winning entries really stood out for their efforts over a long period of time and for delivering innovative projects.
“There is so much good work going on across our schools, local communities, emergency services and businesses. The award winners are an inspiration to others and there is no question their efforts are saving lives on the road.”
The award was presented by Tony McGinn, Director of Specsavers, Newtownabbey.
Tony said: “Specsavers are delighted to sponsor the lollipop person of the year award. This is a vital role for the safety of pedestrians of all ages outside schools across the country as traffic can be unpredictable during busy school pick up and drop off times.
“It is reassuring to parents and carers to know that their children are in safe hands with someone as diligent to their job as Steve.”
The NI Road Safety awards, now in their fifth year, are organised by Road Safe NI charity and accident management specialist, CRASH Services.
A total of 15 awards were presented at an event attended by more than 100 specially invited guests.