Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane, hosted his third SAFER awards on International Volunteers Day (Thursday 5 December). The event celebrated the vital role volunteers play in supporting policing and the community.
Outstanding individuals and teams from a number of voluntary groups, such as Specials, Police Volunteer Support, Victim Support, Independent Custody Visitors, Youth Commission, Community Court, Neighbourhood Watch and Community Speedwatch were recognised across 14 categories.
Michael Lane said: “Volunteers really matter, they help us to connect with the community, enable communities to become more resilient, and the value that they add to the work of the Constabulary and partners is enormous. The Safer Awards is one way we can show our deep appreciation to those who give their time freely and with dedication every single day.
“Every year I am inspired by those nominated, by their expertise, perseverance, heart and commitment. Those present at the awards are but just a few of those who deserve our thanks and recognition for all that they do. I would like to extend my thanks to all volunteers for their energy, commitment and passion, without which we would not be able to deliver all that we do to keep our communities Safer.”
The following awards were given to recognise those volunteers that had made an outstanding contribution over the last year, and went above and beyond in terms of the hours they have volunteered and the dedication and commitment they have shown.
Eastleigh Community Court was set up in July 2016 and provided restorative justice remedies when a young person has been involved with a crime incident. The community court relies solely on volunteers between the age of 14-25.
Chris is no doubt the most consistent member of the community court volunteers. He has suffered from serious health issues, despite this Chris has attended every training session, has remained upbeat and focused throughout.
During hearings Chris always puts himself forward for the most challenging roles, for example the Court Chair which is similar to a head magistrate. Chris also helps new members and is willing to help train and mentor them by attending mock hearings as well as those that are live.
Without Chris the Community Court would not be such a success. His contribution is evident and should be commended. He is a pillar of the scheme and is always keen to help others.
Curdridge Community Speedwatch has shown continued commitment to the scheme, which includes increased team activity and a reduction of the number of repeat offenders. Community Speedwatch schemes take educational action against speeding on roads of concern within their local areas.
Curdridge Speedwatch team is an entirely community based team and is going from strength to strength as a result of the dynamism of the leader and the professionalism of the volunteers involved.
Jennette has put together packages to help raise awareness of and tackle knife crime and has delivered these to each year group at Cowes Secondary School.
Jennette is also working closely with the ‘Cowes Safer Schools Partnership’ on safeguarding work, and the UK Sailing Association’s National Citizen Service where she has delivered talks to groups of young people in relation to keeping safe.
In addition to this work, Jennette has developed a planning strategy for the resourcing of Specials at events during the summer, which is always a challenging time of year because of the sheer volume of events. Jennette’s strategy helps to ensure that the requirements are met and the officers fulfil their duties during this busy time.
The Country Watch Team are a cohesive and dedicated team who are making a genuine and impactive contribution to policing and supporting rural communities across the force. Not only do they routinely support the regular Country Watch team with activities such as proactive work around speeding on high animal mortality routes, they also work well on their own.
Some members of the team have also undertaken additional training to become ambulance co-responders; these officers respond to medical emergencies whilst they are out on patrol.
Rural areas can be an unforgiving environment to work in with large areas to cover often with little supervision and police units spread far and wide. The contribution the team has made is significant.
Emily encapsulates the ethos of the Volunteer Police Cadet scheme, this was specifically demonstrated at the Joint Cadet Connaught Challenge in October 2018 where Emily overcame her fears through a tremendous amount of bravery and courage. Emily has grown in confidence and is a positive role model within her Unit.
The New Forest Unit were nominated for their development of a high visibility patrol and prevention operation within the forest and associated car parks. The cadets and leaders not only engaged with vehicle owners to provide advice and literature around vehicle and property safety, they also provided a deterrence to offenders through the provision of a visible presence. Over a 12-month period vehicle crime within New Forest car parks has reduced by a staggering 40%.
Abi was nominated for this award for her successful work with partner agencies which resulted in the involvement of LAGLO cadets in the Inspire, Create, Exchange (ICE) project. Abi secured funding from the ICE project for a street party; she organised the party where a film developed by the cadets will be screened to encourage third party reporting of serious Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transsexual crime.
“Quick-thinking schoolboy, 12, saves pensioner’s life”
Alfie was walking past the shops in Oakley on August 13 when he saw a woman collapse outside the chemist. Without a moment of hesitation, the plucky 12-year-old rushed over to see that the 75-year-old woman was having a seizure and had stopped breathing. The Cranbourne student called an ambulance and started to perform CPR until paramedics arrived. Members of St John Ambulance praised Alfie’s fast response and said that he had saved the woman’s life.
Alfie’s mum, Carly Smith, said she was so proud of her son. She said: “He was walking home from school when the incident happened, and I was shocked when he told me what had happened. “I am so proud of Alfie for stepping in to help, there are many people much older than him who wouldn’t have a clue what to do or just panic, but his instinct just kicked in and he knew exactly what to do.”
Once the paramedics arrived on the scene, Alfie continued to help the medical staff by blocking off the road to ensure they had space to work and help the woman. Carly added: “The paramedics said if it wasn’t for Alfie’s actions the woman may have lost her life. “I’m incredibly proud of him and shows his selfless and caring nature.”
The above is an article that was written about Alfie and his selfless act. He is a kind and caring individual who was able to use his knowledge to help support and potentially save a life calmly and safely. Not many adults, let alone children would have the knowledge or confidence to perform CPR and so this act should be praised throughout the community to inspire others that they can do the same if needed.
As a student at Horndean Technology College, Noah has for the last four years worked hard in order to raise awareness and provide support for all students identifying as LGBT+. A founding member of the Horndean Technology College Youth Pride group Noah has helped to raise awareness and run campaigns to promote inclusivity and acceptance. These have included delivering assemblies, training for staff, and awareness campaigns for students, such as ‘did you mean to say gay’. Noah has also presented at the Hampshire County Council conference at the launch of their LGBT+ tool kit, sharing how we support students at the college.
Noah provides a strong role model for younger students leading by example that being LGBT+ is acceptable and that HTC is a safe place for them to feel inclusive and supported. Noah has also demonstrated a passion for ensuring that other students at the college are aware that we are all diverse and has promoted tolerance among his peer group.
Noah has shown bravery and courage within his own personal life which has provided younger students with the knowledge that they too can feel safe in exploring issues relating to their own LGBT+ and transgender identities.
Geoff has been a Restorative Volunteer Facilitator for approximately three years. As well as volunteering with Restorative Solutions, Geoff also volunteers for the Samaritans and is a trained Mediator volunteering in Hampshire and Surrey.
Geoff is always keen to attend any training that is provided and explains that he feels that he has ‘barely scratched the surface’ in terms of experience in the role. He is a very active volunteer in the North of the County and as well as co-facilitating on case work he often attends community engagement events such as Restorative Justice Week at HMP Winchester. Geoff is a reliable member of the team and has great communication skills. He listens well when working with participants and is empathetic to their circumstances, asking certain questions in order to allow them the space and time to give a full answer and feel that their needs are being met.
When volunteering as a co-facilitator, Geoff is very open to feedback and takes on board any suggestions for improvement in his practice. He is reflective and likes things to be done to a high standard which is great when working with him as his case notes are brilliant!
Geoff deserves this award for the commitment that he has shown to the service and the work that he does for both harmers and harmed people as part of the restorative justice process.
Andrea began volunteering with PARCS in 2003 as a helpline volunteer, taking calls from adult survivors of sexual abuse. PARCS are an organisation based in Portsmouth that provides free specialist advice to victims of domestic abuse.
Following additional training she went on to volunteer as a counsellor fitting her hours around full-time employment and part-time work in the catering trade. Sixteen years later, Andrea still makes time to support the work of PARCS.
Andrea is a champion for the unseen and unheard and not satisfied with volunteering as a counsellor and on the helplines, she has also been a keen fundraiser and advocate for PARCS. She has held garden parties, supported our band nights and acted in a fundraising performance of the Vagina Monologues. She has promoted the work of the charity at various events including Portsmouth Pride, the Southsea Show and Victorious Festival.
Andrea has also completed the Great South Run jogging alongside our life size inflated elephant. Not an easy task!
Andrea also uses her strong links with the local community to ensure that people who might need PARCS help know where to find us and that potential volunteers are also sent in our direction.
If that’s not enough, Andrea has also volunteered as a group facilitator with PARCS and provided coaching to a number of young women who, together with our Outreach Worker, met with a local MP to present and discuss the negative impact of media on the lives of women and girls.
Louise has volunteered with Circles since 2013, in which time she has been responsible for the care and monitoring of several individuals in the community that have been previously convicted of a sexual offence and continue to present a further risk of committing offences.
Louise has been integral to the safe re-integration of these individuals into the community and protecting the community from the possibility of further offending. This has been possible by Louise’s engagement and willingness to tackle difficult, sensitive and often taboo subjects with individuals who wanted help to prevent themselves from reoffending.
Louise has demonstrated accountability, reliability, intuition and insight. She is a passionate individual who will go to lengths to ensure that justice is fulfilled and that difficult subjects are managed openly with sensitivity.
Louise has continually accepted unglamorous, challenging and often unseen and therefore unappreciated volunteering roles within our organisation in the name of reducing reoffending and the prevention of new victims being created. The recent individuals who she has worked with in the last year have benefitted from the non-judgemental and supportive approach of Louise that has enabled them to make the changes to their lifestyle required of them in order to prevent further offences.
Shelley has been a member of CIS’ters for over 18 years and during that time has helped and inspired countless other survivors. She has been a trustee for the past 8 years and is the Co-ordinator for the CIS’ters Drop In Team.
In addition, she helps facilitate member group sessions, including our annual weekend workshop. She has a warmth and compassion that helps put victim/survivors of sexual abuse (during childhood) at their ease, and creates with her team/others a safe and confidential space within which individuals can lower their barriers and seek the help they currently need.
She inspires others within the organisation and has worked tirelessly with others to ensure that CIS’ters remains professionally robust in all that we deliver, and is much loved as a dedicated team member. In addition, she has a unique sense of humour – which is equally important because laughter is as healing as tears for many of the women who access our service.
The City Centre branch of Debenhams is a great example of how a business can adapt to an ever changing police environment. Over the last few years, this store has turned itself around from being a disengaged member of the Business Crime Partnership, who occasionally attended briefings or shared incidents/intelligence, to being our most pro-active database user.
The two main security staff there have been the first and second most proactive users of our database with nearly 3000 log-ins between them so far this year and are regular attendees at the security briefings. Not only are they reporting incidents and aggravating factors but also aiding other members in identifying previously unknown offenders.
Mike is Chairman of Eastleigh Neighbourhood Watch Association and has spent the last two years updating and refreshing the management structure and the database of coordinators.
He has become a much valued colleague both locally and as part of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Neighbourhood Watch Association executive group. In particular, Mike has taken a county lead, with an Eastleigh colleague, on cyber related issues. He has produced several briefings on current scams to raise awareness across the constabulary area and is establishing an advice giving forum for the association. He has become an invaluable source of cyber related information and advice across the county ensuring our residents are aware of strategies and current cyber related threats.
Richard has served as an Independent Custody Visitor for 15 years and a Panel Convenor for nine. He has also served as a volunteer in the Criminal Justice system for an additional 30 years. During this time has checked on the welfare and wellbeing of thousands of detainees in Hampshire Constabulary custody to ensure that they are being treated fairly and humanely and to check that the conditions in custody blocks are maintained to a suitable standard.
There have been many changes to independent custody visiting which Richard has demonstrated flexibility and a willingness to adapt to the needs of the organisation. He has been willing to go with the flow and help out wherever he has been most needed. He has covered extra visits often at short notice and trained new recruits.
Richard is a dedicated volunteer who gives his time and energy selflessly to Independent Custody Visiting and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Without his knowledge and experience the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme would not be able to uphold the high standards of visiting that are apparent in the Isle of Wight.
Jordan joined the Youth Commission in March 2017. He was quiet and fairly nervous, but it didn’t take him long to settle in, keen to make a difference and joining the Hate Crime priority group.
In his first year Jordan went to SARA training with the police, attended the 999 day in Havant, and Basingstoke Live, where he conducted the big conversation with young people.
He pushed himself further whilst helping at the Portsmouth anti-bullying conference, when we were given the opportunity to go on stage to speak to the audience of over 500 people. Completely unprepared and with only a few minutes’ notice, Jordan spoke to the crowd about the Youth Commission and their priorities. Quite a feat!
Fuelled by this, he volunteered to give presentations on hate crime to students at Eastleigh Youth Conference, and to young people on the Council of Portsmouth students. His confidence soared and he facilitated a discussion with a table of professionals at the Youth Commission’s recommendation conference.
Colleagues were particularly impressed with Jordan when he attended rock challenge every day in Portsmouth this year and showed newer members what to do; leading by example, gently encouraging and praising members when they achieved.
This year Jordan stepped up to become a mentor to the substance misuse group and quickly showed his ability to lead the group. This is despite being posted to a residential site for work, where he lives on site and is unable to attend the meetings in person. However, from a far he has helped arrange meetings, task members and has contributed to planning.
We thank Jordan for all his work over the past 2 and a half years and are very proud of how far he has come.