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Commendation for PCSOs who provided ‘‘kindness beyond belief’’ to elderly residents

PIC FOR WEBSITE Sylvia Winterbottom with PCSOs Malone and BedfordTwo Police Community Support Officers who spent time with two lonely, elderly residents whilst off duty are being given a Chief Constable’s Commendation this week.

Carli Malone and Rachel Bedford, both Greater Manchester Police PCSOs, were recognised by Chief Constable Ian Hopkins at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 19 April.

The two officers came to the Chief’s attention earlier this year when their supervisor, Sergeant Allan Dean, was told of the support that they had been giving to two elderly ladies in Chorlton whilst off duty after meeting them while working.

PCSOs Malone and Bedford spend time with 79 year old Maria Morrison and Sylvia Winterbottom, 92, both from Chorlton, offering them support to get out into the community, lending an ear, and even helping Sylvia see her grandson’s restaurant, which she had never seen before.

The PCSOs got to know Maria after she was the victim of a knife attack in 2011 and, since then, they have taken the time to drop in and spend quality time with her whilst off duty. They have also taken Maria out for coffee and cake on their rest days, using their personal time and vehicles for transport.

The two PCSOs also supported Sylvia to take a dream trip to the Trafford Centre and to see her grandson in Birmingham, something that Sylvia says was “kindness beyond belief”.

Sylvia said: “These two have shown me kindness beyond belief and I am so grateful to them. I’ll never, ever forget how special they made my trip to see my grandson’s restaurant in Birmingham.

“Carli and Rachel make me feel very loved and cared about and I will cherish it forever.”

GMP’s Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “These two officers have time and again gone above and beyond the call of duty, spending time with these two senior members of the community during their own time and using their own resources to do so. For that I commend them.

“It’s so important that we all take the time to look after our more vulnerable neighbours, keep an eye on each other and do our bit to keep each other safe. Their actions highlight the need to do this.”

PCSO Carli Malone: “We couldn’t believe it when we were told that we were getting a commendation – we weren’t looking for any praise and were just doing something nice for these two women who needed some company.

“Every officer joins the police to make a difference and help people and that’s all we were doing, even if it was while we were off duty.”

[Pic: Carli Malone, Sylvia Winterbottom and Rachel Bedford]

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