A LOLLIPOP lady from St Albans has been named the winner of this month’s Inspiring People Award.

Helen Hopkins was nominated by staff at Skyswood School in Chandlers Road, where she has worked for 16 years, for her service and commitment.

The 44-year-old said: "It was amazing - I wasn’t expecting it.

"I love the children - they are all so happy and smiley and they are always laughing.

"It is such a lovely little school and a lovely community."

As well as her day-to-day duties, Ms Hopkins gives talks to pupils about the importance of road safety.

Bob Bridle, headteacher at Skyswood School, said: "She is a special member of the community and she really cares about the children.

"For many of them she is the first person they see when they walk to school.

"She has always got a smile on her face - whatever the weather she is always cheerful and encouraging."

The Inspiring People Award, which is run by the St Albans and Harpenden Review newspaper in conjunction with local solicitors Debenhams Ottaway, gives recognition to unsung heroes in the district.

Mr Bridle added: "I know the award will mean a lot to her.

"She felt so very valued and so she should - she was very proud."

Helen was presented with her award by a representative from Debenhams Ottaway yesterday afternoon.

Louise Attrup, a partner at Debenhams Ottaway, said: "Helen has made an impression on countless children over the years, and has shown them all the importance of responsibility and caring for one another.

"She is clearly a welcome constant in the children's lives, and an integral part of the pastoral care at Skyswood School."