Yesterday (Oct 15) Eden Cadets were presented with the Cadet Team award at the Lord Ferrer Home Office Awards in London, Mini Police from Ewanrigg junior School also nominated came runners up.
The awards, previously known as the Special Constable and Police Support Volunteer Awards, highlight the vital role volunteers play in support of policing, by giving up their free time to make communities safer, and enhancing the effectiveness of policing across England and Wales.
The cadets were nominated for the award for their work around mental health, they wanted to remove the stigma and encourage conversations around it and particularly around suicide rates in Cumbria which had had a profound impact on them all.
From this they launched suicide prevention banners at a press event at Cumbria Constabulary HQ where the cadets took part in a press carousel each giving interviews to national and regional broadcasters.
The six large banners are now proudly displayed across each major town in prominent positions within Cumbria and rotate every few months to encourage those in more rural communities to think about and talk about mental health. Whilst it is difficult to measure the exact impact, even if this prevents one person from taking their own life, signposting them to help and realising they are not alone, the impact is immeasurable.
The Mini Police were nominated for their work within their community, most noticeably one regarding parking outside their school. They were particularly concerned about the safety of pupils when walking to and from school and the poor standard of parking by people dropping off children.
They felt this was important as the problem was something that affected not only them but their community and by working together things could be improved for everyone.
The mini police and PCSO’s sourced “parking buddies” which are metal signs in the design of mini police officers holding signs to warn people not to park there or to park safely. These signs were then placed near the school and along the road at school drop of and collection times whilst the MP Officers patrolled in their uniforms giving out parking and road safety advice. They also created a letter to hand to parents promoting considerate parking.
Their messages were promoted via social media and their road safety messages were shared in the local paper. They were also contacted by the local council they could support the MP Officers. This resulted in increased parking warden patrols and they gave both schools no waiting cones for use at drop off/collection.
Eden Valley Cadet leader Tamara Tatton said: “It’s amazing to see both our Mini Police and Cadet teams being recognised for such a prestigious award having only been running for 15 months.
“I am proud that they have been recognised for all their hard work and have made a huge difference within their communities and been able to resolve local issues such as parking making it safer for children. I can’t wait to see what more they can do.”