Two PCSOs whose drive and determination helped bring together youngsters from a range of backgrounds have been presented with a special award.
Paul Barker and Moira McCue were awarded an Achieving Cheshire Excellence (ACE) Award at the constabulary’s annual ceremony at Mercure Chester Abbots Well Hotel on Friday 13 September.
The PCSOs were instrumental in setting up the inaugural [email protected] football tournament at Widnes’ Halton Stadium in April 2019.
A total of 160 youngsters, aged 13 to 16, took part in the event which was aimed at engaging young people from a variety of hard-to-reach communities through sport.
Both went above and beyond to secure funding and involvement from a multitude of community groups.
The community feedback on the event was excellent and it attracted both local and national media coverage.
The ACE Awards are the constabulary's highest accolades that can be awarded to an individual or team that has gone the extra mile or demonstrated exceptional commitment to policing in Cheshire.
After being presented with the Community Engagement Award, sponsored by Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Moira said: “Due to the tournament we have been able to build relationships with the local communities, our partners who assisted on the day, sponsors and also other forces nationally who took part in the tournament finale in London.
“We have hopefully also managed to raise awareness around knife crime, as the main reason of the tournament was to get some of our children who are at risk of becoming involved in crime diverted towards more productive activities.
“The event was only possible due to the support from our colleagues across the county, who worked extremely hard to pull teams together from some of the hardest to reach communities.”
“The icing on the cake was seeing the kids enjoying themselves and the feedback from the local officers who organised the teams was really positive.”
Chief Constable Darren Martland said: “I’m extremely proud of the fantastic work our officers, staff and volunteers do each and every day to help keep Cheshire safe.
“It is important that we dedicate an opportunity like the Ace Awards to celebrate some of this work and hear the inspirational stories which have led to this year’s nominations.
“We have some truly outstanding people at Cheshire Constabulary and I would like to personally congratulate all those who were nominated by their colleagues.
“They all deserve this recognition for their dedicated service to both the constabulary and the communities of Cheshire.”
David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, added: “The ACE Awards provide us with an opportunity to celebrate the incredible achievements of Cheshire Constabulary’s talented officers, staff and volunteers and I am incredibly proud of the work that each and every member of the force carries out round the clock to protect local residents.
“A huge congratulations to all of those who have been recognised at this year’s awards.
“Once again, we have heard some inspirational stories of bravery, commitment and going the extra mile to keep Cheshire residents safe.”