Double award for Vale of Belvoir volunteers

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Gill and Carla with Chief Constable Simon Cole

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Issued on 12/10/17 at 8:30 a.m.

Two police support volunteers from Melton Mowbray picked up Chief Constable’s awards for their volunteering in this year’s ceremony.

Gill Becken and Carla Fox both volunteer on the Vale of Belvoir beat team in Melton’s rural neighbourhood policing area. Gill was named ‘Volunteer of the Year’ and received the Saville Trophy, and Carla was awarded a Chief Constables Commendation for Outstanding Work.

Gill, 63, lives in Harby and said: “I first got involved with volunteering eight years ago. I was already a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator for my area and joined the force with hopes of becoming more involved in my community, and to enable an easier exchange of information between Neighbourhood Watch and the police.”

Gill dedicates as much time as she can to volunteering, and assists officers with anything from community events and beat surgeries to admin work and leaflet drops.

She added: “I feel really privileged to have received this award, and would like to accept it on behalf of our whole team. I truly believe that if it wasn’t for the local beat team I wouldn’t have won it, and I’m really grateful for their support.

“I’d like to especially thank PC Mark Longden and PCSO Matt Robinson from the beat team. Without their support and guidance I wouldn’t have achieved this award. They always make volunteers feel like a part of the team, and make us feel valued and well respected.

“I don’t feel like I’ve don’t anything special, just my job. Volunteering is a big part of my life and I feel honoured to have been formally recognised in this way.”

When Gill isn’t volunteering she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her three grandchildren. She also runs a youth club on Friday evenings to combat antisocial behaviour, in partnership with the local beat team, youth offending service and parish council.

Carla Fox, 44, picked up a Chief Constables Commendation for Outstanding Work for the professional approach she has displayed as a police support volunteer.

She said: “PC Longden initially persuaded me to join as a volunteer, as he knew I wanted to help vulnerable adults and victims of crime. At the time I was completing a qualification in counselling, so thought I could put my new skills to good use. Since then I’ve spent around four hours a week with the team at the Vale of Belvoir, and fit volunteering in whenever I can.”

Carla has worked in mental health for 15 years, and also volunteers for St Barnabas Hospice where she provides bereavement support to terminally ill patients and their families.

She grew up in Bottesford, and enjoys spending time with her 10-year-old son, Morgan, and her husband.

Carla added: “I’d like to thank my husband for his endless encouragement and support. For the last four years I’ve been so busy, even when I was at home my head was in my laptop studying.

“It’s fantastic to receive an award for doing something that I love, and like Gill, I feel it’s only right to pick this award up on behalf of our entire team.

“We all get on so well, we’re like a small family, and I’d encourage anyone to come along and join us.”

The Vale of Belvoir beat team covers 39 villages across 120 square miles, which makes up 11% of the total distance covered by Leicestershire Police.

The force is currently recruiting police support volunteers and special constables, please visit leics.police.uk/couldyou for more information.

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