Words, pictures and video by Stuart Littleford
TWO Saddleworth PCSOs were among officers from Greater Manchester Police presented with awards for actions carried out on duty locally during a night of severe flooding in 2016.
The officers, from the Oldham District, were voted winners of the Government & Public Sector Journal’s ‘Above & Beyond’ Awards by an independent awards panel.
The flooding in Greenfield, and other parts of Saddleworth, caused extensive damage to many homes and businesses as well as major disruption to transport and local services.
GMP officers worked throughout the night helping residents with a major clean-up operation, sometimes using their bare hands as well as brushes and shovels to remove debris.
The officers also assisted homeowners by moving their furniture and other personal items to safety.
The certificates were presented by Bryn Hughes, father of PC Nicola Hughes who was killed on duty in Manchester, and Chief Superintendent Neil Evans.
The award winners were Saddleworth’s PCSO 66103 Lee Lockwood and PCSO 62643 Wayne Turley, as well as Sgt 2282 Toby Knight, PC 15570 Liam Rasch (no longer with GMP), PC 15361 Blair Patterson, PC 1315 Jordan Heaton, PC 15355 Julian Maynard, PC 15574 Donna Youngjohns and PC 15677 Mark Foster.
Chief Superintendent Neil Evans said: “Sometimes police officers come in for criticism for various reasons, but as seen here with the GPSJ awards the work they do for the community is truly amazing.
“In this case, the police officers and PCSOs have shown just how much they care and have definitely surpassed what was required of them on the night.
“It’s also good to see these types of awards that recognise these actions that are above and beyond duty, I congratulate all those involved.”
Bryn Hughes said: “I am proud to be giving these awards out today and I know Nicola would also be the first to commend these officers’ actions, Such a well-deserved award.”
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth and a member of the judging panel, said: “Time and again our emergency services come to the rescue of our communities often putting themselves at great risk.
“On behalf of all our residents I’d like to say well done to all the recipients of this GPSJ award and thank you for your hard work and commitment.”
The GPSJ awards are judged on merit by an independent panel of journalists, broadcasters and politicians, including: Andy Carter, Cleland Thom – principle of the College of Media and Publishing, Debbie Abrahams MP, Donal MacIntyre, John Stapleton, Nigel Pivaro and Steve Nolan.
The presentation was made at the Odeon Cinema in The Old Town Hall, Parliament Square, Oldham.
Further information on the awards can be found by visiting www.gpsj.co.uk