Road Safety Volunteer Calls it a Day

Kingsley McCarthy with his grandson James who encouraged him to apply for the post 15 years ago.

80-year-old Kingsley set to retire

A former Wales road safety volunteer of the year is finally hanging up his hi-vis vest and retiring from his role after turning 80.

Kingsley McCarthy, from Manselton, has been helping teach young children road safety tips for the last 15 years as part of Swansea Council's Kerbcraft scheme. 

He says he got involved in the scheme fifteen years ago when his grandson James Hughes, who was five at the time, brought home an application form from school and made him complete it. 

The scheme, which operates in schools throughout Swansea, relies on the goodwill of volunteers to support council road safety officers in the work they do with local schools.

Kingsley said: "At the time I had no idea what Kerbcraft was and it was only because my grandson told me to fill out the form that I signed up. 

"Fifteen years later and it's been great fun helping children learn about how they can keep safe on the roads, particularly when they're crossing the road at junctions or near parked cars.

"It's such an important skill to have at a young age and I'm thrilled to think I have helped so many young people over the years to gain these skills."

Grandson,  James, now 21, said: "I can remember bringing home the application form asking him to fill it in. I only wanted him to do it so I could see him in school. I'm really proud of his contribution to road safety. He's a role model for everyone to aspire to."

Kingsley says that although he's saying goodbye to Kerbcraft he hasn't finished giving his time to local services.

He added: "I've really enjoyed what I've done but I feel it's time to do something different. Hopefully I'll be doing some other work to help my local community, I haven't finished just yet.

In 2013, Kingsley picked up top award as Road Safety Wales's Volunteer of the Year for his efforts and in 2007 he was honoured with the High Sheriff's Award for working with people with disabilities. 

Amanda Howarth, Swansea Council's Road Safety Officer said: "Kingsley has been a real asset to the council and an inspiration to children and parents in the communities and schools he has worked with. 

"He knows how important road safety is for young children and has devoted himself to passing on the vital knowledge so they can keep safe on the roads.

"Kingsley, along with all the other volunteers we have are what makes Kerbcraft a valued and vital scheme for schoolchildren. Without their time given to deliver the scheme, it would be difficult to deliver.

"I'm sure all the children, parents, teachers and council staff that have worked with Kingsley will be wishing him all the best for the future."


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