School aids lollipop lady
FOR seven years, lollipop lady Carol England has welcomed families to school with a friendly smile and a wave.
Now, with her home left in ruins after January’s devastating floods, the Ipswich Grammar School community have rallied to support one of their own.
A morning tea was held on Wednesday at Ipswich Girls Grammar, with close to $4500 raised to help the 68-year-old and her husband, Ken, get back on their feet.
Mallets Carpet Choice also came on board, donating a $500 gift voucher to replace damaged floor coverings.
The couple’s home in Tarcoola St, East Ipswich, was inundated during the floods, with the sheer force of the water destabilising the house.
Mrs England said they faced a steep repair bill, with wardrobes smashing holes into walls of two bedrooms and almost everything they owned destroyed, except a lounge suite they managed to salvage.
Finding the money to foot the repair bill was tough, she said.
“At the moment we are still in limbo. It is not just a matter of getting quotes, then trying to find the money, but trying to find the cheapest avenues,” she said.
After facing the same reality in the aftermath of the 1974 floods, she said it was hard to believe they were going through it again.
Her children, Susan and Troy, had been babies the first time.
“Troy was born October 13 and we were wiped out January 1974,” Mrs England said.
“Being young we struggled through and got everything done.
“We never thought we would have to do it again. But we will just soldier through and build again because it is home.”
The morning tea was organised by a grammar school mum Cathy Dearinger and supported by the school’s P&F group.
Mrs Dearinger said seeing first hand the damage wreaked on the home and knowing the family’s insurance company would not cover the costs made her determined to do something to help the popular school identity.
“Carol and Ken are at a stage in their lives where they should be thinking about retiring, not where the money is coming from to fix their home,” she said.
Mrs England has been a familiar face since her daughter Rose, now 10, had started school.
“Carol has always been someone who will have a chat and make you feel welcome,” Mrs Dearinger said. “To have her affected, it feels like someone in your own family has been affected.
“You can’t just get on with your own life and not do anything.
“It was a no-brainer to do something to help.”
She said businesses she had approached had been happy to lend their support, with Byron Beach Realty donating three nights’ accommodation and Ipswich businesses the Metro Hotel Ipswich International, Lifestyle Gym, Horseland, Province, Amart All Sports and Precious Packages all donating raffle prizes.