Spreading Christmas cheer
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While keeping you safe in the run-up to Christmas, our officers, staff and Volunteer Police Cadets have also been helping people in need.
As well as donating presents to our highly-successful Community Christmas Giving Tree appeal, offices and staff in local police stations have donated food, vouchers and even a bike.
And Epping Forest Community Policing Team were able to take a significant amount of goodies - more than 30 boxes - to the 3Food4U community hub, after PCSOs Norma Harrison and Julie Buckley used their community contacts and approached shops and supermarkets in Debden, Epping, Loughton, Ongar and Waltham Abbey
“We wanted to help 3Food4U provide some festive cheer to families who may be finding it harder this year to celebrate Christmas. The response was heart-warming and generous to say the least. It’s been a hard period for most people but we were so pleased to see the generosity and charity of our community - a big thank you to all those who contributed.”
PCSO Norma Harrison, Epping Forest Community Policing Team
“We’re overwhelmed by the work of Epping Forest Community Policing Team and the generous donations of food from local shops and supermarkets for our non-assessed, self-referred drop-in service. The donations will be a lifeline to many people and families in the area during these challenging times.”
3Food4U coordinator and trustee Pesh Kapasiawala
Elsewhere, staff from our Crime and Public Protection Command, who are responsible for the safeguarding and support of domestic abuse victims across the county, have been delivering presents to families fleeing domestic abuse.
They appealed to colleagues across our force to donate toys, treats and gift vouchers, also linking in with our Community Christmas Giving Tree appeal, and were able to collect and deliver more than 500 presents and gift vouchers to refuges in Basildon, Colchester, Grays, Harlow and Southend. A further £145 was donated in cheques to the Changing Pathways charity.
“Many thanks to everyone who donated. It was lovely to be able to make this time of year a little more cheerful for those who have had to leave their homes in a hurry with few or no possessions.”
Caroline Cudby, operational development support officer, Crime and Public Protection Command
While our Volunteer Police Cadets in Colchester held their own collection, seeking donations from family, friends and local organisations and businesses.
They were able to hand over almost a tonne (979kg) of food to Colchester Foodbank, with Cadet Freya Knopp collecting a staggering 223kg of that!
“When our donations were dropped off, the volunteers weighed them. They said my donations were enough to feed 10 families for a week! I’m really grateful to everyone who donated - it’s such a great cause.”
Cadet Freya Knopp
The cadets chose to support the foodbank for one of their social action projects as one of them already volunteers there and they all wanted to help out.
“I am absolutely humbled by what our cadets have achieved, as well as by the response from their friends, families and communities. The foodbank is going through an unprecedented period of demand and I hope our donations will help a lot of people.”
Alex Stanford-Eyre, Colchester Volunteer Police Cadet Unit leader
And earlier this month, officers in Braintree presented a bike to a man they had found riding a child’s bike on a dark road.
The man told them he’d just moved to the area after suffering some hardship, was struggling to make ends meet and the bike was his only way to get to work every day.
So, the very next day, our officers surprised him at work with a bigger bike, and lights to help keep him safe on the road.