A group picture of all the winners
Many inspiring local people were recognised at Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens’ latest PCC Pride Awards held today (Tuesday, December 6) at police headquarters, Portishead.
Sue Mountstevens and Chief Constable Andy Marsh heard moving tales about the work and achievements of the 13 winners who were each presented with a certificate by the PCC.
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “These awards are to recognise the silent stars of our communities that achieve great things. I’ve had the pleasure of personally reading through the nominations, all of which display incredible, selfless contributions to individuals, groups and the community.
“Some of the fantastic work includes generously volunteering for nearly 30 years, 24 years and nine years. As well as the achievements of our police officers and detectives who have helped and supported families in their hour of need.
“I’m always humbled to hear about so many fantastic people working to keep our communities safe and all the winners truly deserve the recognition.”
We spoke to the winners and asked them how they felt on being nominated for a PCC Pride Award:
Beat Manager PC Finbar Simmons (Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire) was nominated for being an exceptional beat manager and taking great pride in his beat. He said: “Receiving a PCC Pride Award was very unexpected but very humbling. It was also inspiring to hear about all the achievements of the other winners.
Nigel Briers was nominated by Weston-super-Mare Town Council for his efforts in organising Weston-super-Mare Pride. Receiving his award Nigel said: “I'm honoured to accept the award and thank you to Sue and Avon and Somerset Police for giving it to me. It’s really important to acknowledge that I couldn't have done this without the support that I've had from all levels, strategically and individuals. Thank you to the Weston Pride team and the town council for nominating me.”
John Shipley, Bridgwater, was nominated for his commitment in supporting the tenants of SHAL Housing. He said: “I am chuffed to bits to win an award. Somebody asked me once why I do what I do and it’s really hard to know because when you’re interested in people you just do things which make people happier and make people feel safer. I’m delighted to be recognised for it, I never expected it.”
For the past nine years Gordon Czapiewski from Yeovil has selflessly given up his time to volunteer to check on the welfare of people held in police custody. He said: “It’s great to feel part of a larger team of volunteers helping our communities. Attending today’s event is eye-opening. It’s humbling to hear about what our unsung heroes across Avon and Somerset and what they do to help others.”
Sheena Witter has also dedicated a full nine years’ service to the Independent Custody Visiting Volunteer scheme. In her role as panel co-ordinator for Staple Hill she ensured visits ran smoothly and is described as a committed volunteer. She said: “It’s lovely to be acknowledged and I feel very humbled.”
PCSO Ellie Hicks, Nailsea, was nominated for her work in mentoring and supporting a young person who was frequently getting into trouble and causing anti-social behaviour. At the event she said: “I have been helping the young people in my community for the past two years and being recognised for the work I have put into one individual I have been helping makes it all worthwhile. I’m very happy to have this award.”
PCSO Michelle Haimes was nominated for the creation and support of the ‘Chill and Chat’ drop-in sessions in Yeovil. The group offers members of the local community, who are affected by domestic violence, an opportunity to relax and talk in a safe environment. She said: “I feel like it’s an award for the whole group who help with the project. I work with partner agencies, housing, children’s centres and many others who offer practical and emotional support to victims of domestic violence.”
Detectives Wayne Sumsion, Jon Lord and Detective Chief Inspector Julie Mackay have been nominated for the service they provided to a bereaved family. In their nomination it said: “The professionalism, support and empathy they’ve shown to us as a family throughout this ordeal has been exemplary.”
Detective Constable Jon Lord said: “I feel very honoured that the family themselves nominated us all. Wayne who isn't here today was the family liaison officer. He built up trust with the family which led to them recognising us and it’s very humbling.
Detective Chief Inspector Julie Mackay said: “I’m immensely proud of the whole team, Jon diligently did a superb job, he paid meticulous attention and Wayne provided excellent support to the family.”
Volunteer Lesley Wynne, supports the St Marks Community Café in Easton, Bristol and works tirelessly with the community, offering a friendly welcome, a listening ear and providing meals to those in need. She said: “I feel totally amazing and humbled to receive an award. My heart has always been about making a difference so hearing about what everyone is doing is great. I’ll hang my award in the café because it’s not all about me, there’s a bigger group of people that need recognising with this award.”
Jackie Sealey, Bridgwater has been nominated for the dedication she has shown her local community for the past thirty years. As well as being fundamental in the organisation of the Bridgwater Flower Show, Jackie also hosts community classes in the local library and volunteers on Sedgemoor FM. After receiving her award she said: “I’m so proud to have been given the award. I have been arranging Bridgwater Flower Show for the past 21-years which has been a joy to do. I’ve also been a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for nearly 30 years. It was such a shock when I was told I had been nominated and it’s wonderful to get the thanks.”
For nearly 25-years David Brockington has been a dedicated committee member of Clevedon Neighbourhood Watch, and Chairman of the committee for the past 21 years. He said: “I’m delighted to get this award. I share it with an awful lot of good people. I’m only one member of a great team and I’m very proud of everything we have achieved.”
Following the ceremony and afternoon tea, winners and their guests were taken on a tour of the Constabulary communications centre, where ‘101’ and ‘999’ calls are taken.
If you would like to nominate someone for the PCC’s Pride Awards click here. The Awards are open all year round and decisions will be made quarterly.
Posted on Tuesday 6th December 2016