Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle MBE was among a host of high-profile guests who gathered at Cheshire Constabulary Headquarters on Monday 19 November to celebrate the 14th year of the High Sheriff′s charity Crimebeat, which works with young people′s organisations across the county to improve the environment and reduce crime.
Beth was greeted by a drum fanfare from the Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets to honour her achievement, which High Sheriff William Lees-Jones says is "just the sort of inspiration that helps Crimebeat to achieve its aim of providing examples and opportunities that will help youngsters to lead successful, productive lives."
The High Sheriff′s other guests included Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire David Briggs, newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer, Deputy Chief Constable Helen King and the founder of Cheshire Crimebeat, former High Sheriff Michael Trevor-Barnston.
Frank Harding, Crimebeat coordinator, said: "Since its formation in 1998, Crimebeat has raised more than £150,000 in private donations. The funding is used for a wide range of crime prevention, personal safety and good citizenship initiatives involving more than a quarter of a million young people from all over Cheshire."
The celebration featured presentations from organisations and youngsters who have benefited directly from Crimebeat′s work, including the recipient of its landmark 500th project grant, the county′s Stay Safe Coordinator, Jim Brookes, who described how his ten-year association with successive High Sheriffs had enabled him to provide an increasingly effective and valuable mentoring service for excluded and marginalised youngsters.
Other presentations included:
TWISTA (Together We Inspire Striving To Achieve), a national award-winning project designed to help youngsters with behavioural difficulties to turn their lives around. The guests heard from Police Constable Rebecca Francis, schoolteacher Britta Wright and former students of Rudheath High School, about how this pioneering course has enabled young people to overcome their problems so effectively that it is now being taken up by schools around the country.
PC Rebecca Francis, of Northwich Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "I would like to send a big thank you to Cheshire Crimebeat, who helped make an idea become a reality. I have been amazed by the way TWISTA has supported young women in our community by creating opportunities."
CROSSROADS. Prison Officers Martin Randall and Dave McAlley assisted by two ex-prisoners spoke about this successful programme of school visits to H.M.P. Altcourse which provided an opportunity for students to understand the consequences of crime by seeing first-hand the reality of prison life and meeting young people who had fallen foul of the law.
INTERNET SAFETY. Lieutenant Commander Cioma Commanding Officer of Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets explained the work that his young members had been doing to raise awareness about the dangers that can be encountered online and how to reduce the risks.
The evening concluded with a surprise presentation of a special award certificate by High Sheriff William Lees-Jones and Mrs Ariel Lees-Jones to Crimebeat Coordinator Frank Harding, who has held the post since the charity′s launch in 1998, making him the longest serving coordinator in the country.