THE UNSUNG heroes who dedicate their lives to keeping people in the Malvern Hills and Wychavon districts safe have been officially recognised for their work.
The first Rural South Worcestershire Community Safety Awards took place at the Civic Centre in Pershore last Thursday.
Set up by the Rural South Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership, the awards acknowledged the efforts of those individuals, teams and projects which contributed to making both districts safer places to live, work and visit.
Winners on the night included members of the police, members of the public and other organisations.
Droitwich West Safer Neighbourhood Team won the Community Safety Team of the Year Award for its work tackling drug dealing and anti-social behaviour in one of the most challenging parts of the town.
Evesham Street Pastors were named Volunteers of the Year for their tireless dedication to ensuring people stay safe while on a night out.
Peter Stock, from Rooftop Housing Group, was named as the judges’ Unsung Hero of the Year for his enthusiasm and community focus, such as his work with Evesham Anti-Litter Group.
Malvern’s Sgt Alex Denny and Droitwich PCSO Andrea Leslie were highly commended in the same category.
Sgt Denny was recognised for his commitment to partnership working and his willingness to go the extra mile, such as stopping to help a woman experiencing an epileptic seizure while popping into the supermarket.
PCSO Leslie has worked tirelessly in Droitwich for 12 years and was commended for her compassion towards crime victims and her ability to gain the trust of the community.
The South Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership won Community Safety Project of the Year after successfully using street mime to spread the report hate crime message to more than 1,000 people during Hate Crime Awareness Week 2017.
There was also a long service award for Evesham’s Phil Schoenrock who has served the area for 42 years as both a police officer and now a PCSO.
South Worcestershire Design Out Crime Officer Mike Stephenson was also recognised for his 38 years of service.
Louise Broughton, from housing provider Stonewater, was Newcomer of the Year for her efforts to improve the way partners work together to tackle safeguarding in Malvern.
Louise Tooze was also a Newcomer of the Year for her work improving relations with the business and rural communities.
Coun Bronwen Behan, responsible for community safety on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “We are lucky to live in one of the safest areas of the country but it doesn’t happen by accident.
“Instead it is down to the hard work, dedication and commitment of people like those recognised by these awards.”
Coun Gerry O’Donnell, responsible for community safety on Wychavon District Council, added: “It was a humbling experience to be able to hear the stories of those who go the extra mile every day to keep us safe and these awards were a fitting way to say thank you for everything they do.”