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Police officers and PCSOs are working alongside partner agencies to bring some much needed festive cheer to vulnerable Runcorn residents.
Thanks to the endeavours of the team at Runcorn Local Policing Unit, Halton Housing, Onward Homes, Halton Borough Council, self-advocacy group Halton Speak Out and inclusive performance group Ella Together, around 200 hampers will be delivered to members of the community who are most in need of a happy Christmas.
Filled with food, festive treats, flasks and warm clothing including hats, scarves and gloves, the hampers will be delivered by police officers, PCSOs, housing officers and volunteers from Monday 14 December.
Inspector Leeroy Moss, of Runcorn Local Policing Unit, said: “It has been a difficult year for everyone due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but it has been particularly tough for some of our most vulnerable residents.
“Many of them have been shielding or otherwise in isolation, and we want to show those people that we care about them by giving them an early Christmas present.
“This Winter Warmer Project was devised by one of our PCSOs, Tracey Taylor.
“Her work in the community left her wanting to do something special for those most in need of some Christmas cheer.
“Tracey and her fellow PCSO Georgie Griffiths managed to secure the funding needed for the project, via kind donations from Halton Housing, Onward Homes and Halton Speak Out.
“The Community Shop at Priory House in Runcorn has donated food for the Christmas hampers, as has Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury, but the vast majority of the food has come from donations from kind-hearted members of the public in response to an appeal via social media.
“Tracey and Georgie have also liaised with the two housing associations and Halton Borough Council to formulate a list of elderly and vulnerable Runcorn residents to deliver the Christmas hampers to.
“They will receive the hampers and small gifts in the run up to Christmas Day, and everyone at Runcorn Police Station hopes that they enjoy them.”
The recipients will also be given biscuits, pens and information cards from the England Illegal Money Lending Team.
This is part of the team’s efforts to educate people, particularly vulnerable people, about the dangers of borrowing money from loan sharks.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team will also be giving colouring books to around 200 children living in Runcorn in the run up to Christmas.
Police officers and PCSOs will deliver the books, along with colouring pens that have been bought by Runcorn Police Station, selection boxes that have been donated by the staff at the B&M discount shop in Runcorn and Christmas cards provided by Runcorn-based Merseyside Printing Company.
The recipient list for these has also been devised by the officers and PCSOs themselves.
Insp Moss added: “I would like to thank the staff at B&M for paying for nearly 200 selection boxes out of their own pockets, and everyone else who has made donations to help our endeavours to give Runcorn residents at both end of the age spectrum a timely boost.
“I’d also like to thank the teams at Halton Speak Out and Ella Together, who are based next door to each other at Brookvale Community Centre, for volunteering to help make up the hampers and deliver them alongside housing officers and our police officers and PCSOs.
“The communities of Runcorn have demonstrated the true spirit of Christmas by pulling together to support the people who really need us at this special time of the year.”
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “This is a fantastic example of how our community police model works, with officers and PCSOs coming together with partner agencies and community groups to help residents in a time of need.
“It’s really important during the challenging financial times that we are currently facing that we come together to support vulnerable members of our community and I applaud everyone involved and everyone who has made a donation towards this initiative.
“It shows community and festive spirit at its finest.”