High Sheriff recognises great work of 16 groups & individuals across Hampshire

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The High Sheriff of Hampshire 2017/18 the Hon. Mrs Mary Montagu-Scott has announced the 16 recipients receiving commendations for their great work in the community. The High Sheriff Awards are a mark of distinction and recognition given to individual volunteers, groups and public servants based in Hampshire who are making a significant contribution to society, focusing on law and order related projects, particularly those that enhance safety and cohesion in our communities.

 Many of these individuals and groups go beyond the ‘call of duty’ in their everyday work and deserve special recognition for their commitment. The awards were presented on 14th March 2018 at a ceremony held in the Great Hall in Winchester, one of the finest surviving aisled halls of the 13th century containing the greatest symbol of medieval mythology, King Arthur’s Round Table.

The recipients are as follows and a description for each is included below:

  • Sarah Cohen, Crime Prevention Officer
  • Helen Gaskell, Magistrate and Bench Chair,
  • Mrs Angela Smallwood, Volunteer for Victim Support
  • Basingstoke Street Pastors
  • Blue Lamp Trust
  • Citizens Advice Winchester District Prison Team
  • Hampshire Constabulary Volume Fraud Investigation Team
  • Hampshire Fostering Network
  • Hawley Community Garden, Farnborough
  • Loud and Proud, Gosport
  • Police Medical Welfare Service
  • Portsmouth Music Hub
  • Tower House Horses CIC, Winchester
  • Victim Support
  • Yellow Door, Southampton
  • YMCA Weston Community Library, Southampton

The High Sheriff, the Hon. Mrs Mary Montagu-Scott commented: “The awards ceremony was an extremely inspiring occasion and I am delighted to recognise the meaningful work that these unsung heroes carry out to keep our communities safe and thriving. During my year in office I have seen first-hand the outstanding work carried out across the County to support vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our area, which is truly commendable.”

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) works in partnership with the High Sheriff of Hampshire to administer the awards, and Jonathan Cheshire, Chair of HIWCF commented “HIWCF are delighted to support the High Sheriff Awards which uphold the values and work that the Foundation implements at grassroots level across our communities. We congratulate each of the recipients for their contribution to society; and for their hard work and dedication in making Hampshire a better and safer place to live”.

Please read below for more information about each of the 16 High Sheriff Award recipients:

 Sarah Cohen, Crime Prevention Officer, Hampshire Constabulary – Sarah works as a Crime Prevention Officer supporting frontline officers and staff across Hampshire Constabulary to understand the impact of fraud and how to protect vulnerable people. Sarah has designed crime prevention tool-kits for officers and successfully brought in ‘Operation Signature’ and ‘Banking Protocol’ which protect people from significant financial losses and the profile of fraud and scams has been significantly raised thanks to her work.

Helen Gaskell, Magistrate & Bench Chair – Helen has been providing an invaluable contribution to organisations in Hampshire for over 30 years and continues to do so today, sitting on the Youth Offender’s panel dealing with youths following convictions in court, working with the youth offending team to analyse the offender’s background and agreeing restorative measures to reduce the likelihood of reoffending. Helen became a magistrate in 2006 in the Adult, Youth and Family Courts and has been court bench chair for 7 years and bench chair since 2015. Helen currently works with Wessex Dance supporting young people who have been excluded from school.

Mrs Angela Smallwood, Victim Support, – Angela volunteered with Victim Support for over 15 years, dealing with victims of crimes including burglary, assault, domestic violence, murder and rape, providing ongoing support over the phone, through home visits, and at protected places. Angela has provided professional and dedicated support and mentoring to those suddenly finding themselves in very difficult and traumatic circumstances, offering a helping hand towards recovery.

Basingstoke Street Pastors – Each Friday and Saturday night from about 10.30pm until 4 in the morning, the Street Pastor teams patrol Basingstoke’s nightlife venues, offering practical help and support, ensuring that young people who are out and about have someone to turn to should they feel unsafe or require any help. The group offer a ‘Safe Hub’ for those needing support, and the team of volunteers is welcomed by police, businesses and residents for their work in ensuring Basingstoke at night is a safer place.

Blue Lamp Trust, The Blue Lamp Trust operates throughout Hampshire and the Isle of Wight providing a free of charge service to the elderly, vulnerable and victims of crime, offering a full home ‘safe and secure’ check where a police and fire service trained fitter visits the home to check that it is safe from fire and secure with alarms, door chains, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors. The Trust also works with victims of domestic abuse to ensure they are secure in their own homes.

Citizens Advice Winchester District Volunteer Prison Team – For the last 29 years, a team of volunteers have delivered a weekly advice session at Winchester Prison, with the team typically assisting 80 offenders per year involving issues such as debt, budgeting, benefits, housing, relationships and access to their children. The advice helps prisoners focus on the practical steps they can take to rebuild their lives whilst in prison and better prepares them for release, to help reduce the chance of reoffending.

Hampshire Constabulary Volume Fraud Investigation Team, – Hampshire Constabulary Volume Fraud Investigation Team is a specialist Hampshire Police Unit dedicated to investigating and protecting people from fraud and cybercrime. Every month in Hampshire 600 to 800 people and businesses are affected by fraud and cyber-enabled scams. Led by Detective Sergeant Dring the team focuses on dealing with these crimes to ensure that every vulnerable person who is identified as a victim of fraud receives a personal visit to ensure the best safeguarding and prevention advice is put in place.

Hampshire Fostering Network,- Being in care can unfortunately affect young people’s future life prospects and Hampshire Fostering Network actively work to improve the outcomes of the young people within the care system by driving up fostering standards, working with Hampshire Children’s Services and making young people feel better supported. Their ‘Life Skills’ program teaches cookery, finance and household skills together with personal development and health ensuring those in care leave well prepared for life ahead.

Hawley Community Garden, Farnborough – Hawley Community Garden has converted a derelict garage site which was a real eye-sore attracting anti-social behaviour in the area into a community garden and wildlife haven, producing fruit and vegetables for members. The garden is in an area of deprivation, and includes a large Nepali community, and the project has enabled the differing communities to integrate and work together whilst learning new skills, building a strong sense of community.

Loud and Proud, Gosport – Loud and Proud was formed in 2011 by five teenagers who wanted to change the perception of young people in Gosport. The team aged between 16 and 25 carry out a range of volunteering activities, including facilitating the Gosport Community Safety Team’s ‘Summer Passport’ Scheme, helping with registration, refreshments and cleaning up the site, with Police reporting a significant reduction in petty crime during the scheme. Being part of Loud and Proud gives members a real sense of belonging and the chance to get involved in their local community.

Police Medical Welfare Service, The Police Medical Welfare Service is a charity based near Andover offering extra welfare and support to sick, injured and assaulted officers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, with the aim of improving recovery time, wellbeing and resilience across the Force. The Welfare Officers provide a confidential and impartial listening ear, emotional support, practical assistance, and home visits, which has led to a reduction in sickness absence and improved the wellbeing and effectiveness for those involved.

Portsmouth Music Hub – Portsmouth Music Hub provides high quality and innovative musical and cultural opportunities for Portsmouth Schools and to date, 12,000 children have been given “It’s CPR” training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, using music education to teach life-saving skills. The songs are written at 100 to 120 beats per minute, the recommended speed for CPR and the words in the songs help explain what to do in an emergency situation, covering calling for an ambulance, how to use a defibrillator and how to check if a person is breathing.

Tower House Horses CIC, Winchester – Tower House Horses offers equine-assisted support in the community, helping ex-offenders to develop life skills to enable them to reintegrate into the community, and perpetrators of domestic violence to develop more effective emotional coping mechanisms. The work with the horses involves ground-based activities, guided by trained facilitators, there is no riding involved. Learning with horses can stimulate change at a deep neurological level with long-lasting and often life-changing effects.

Victim Support, Victim Support’s team of volunteers provide face to face and telephone support to those who are distressed and broken by the action of others, providing a listening ear and offering practical support to enable victims to begin to recover from crime. The team provides a wrap-around support package to suit the needs of each person, dealing with resulting anger, distrust and frustration and providing a helping hand to get people back on their feet again.

Yellow Door, Southampton – Yellow Door has worked in Southampton for over 30 years, responding to and preventing abuse and promoting healthy relationships. The ‘Diversity and Inclusion Service’ tackles culturally specific abuses such as forced marriage and honour based violence, and the Under 11’s Therapeutic Services offers specialist support to younger children who have experienced abuse, exploitation or grooming to minimise its impact on their lives as effectively as possible.

YMCA Weston Community Library, Southampton – In 2016 the YMCA took over the running of Weston Community Library and has implemented a wide range of community activities including job clubs, debt advice, fuel poverty awareness, drop in sessions for PCSO’s and health sessions. Weston is an area of Southampton that ranks highly on the deprivation index, with high levels of social isolation, mental health, drug usage and unemployment and the YMCA team engage with youths who are likely to have become engaged in anti-social behaviour offering support, advice and acting as role models to engage them in activities that lead to better opportunities.

 Photographs are available for each group on request – lucy@hiwcf.com

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