Collecting charity donations and packing food parcels for those in need is just some of the crucial work police officers are helping with to support vulnerable people in their communities.
Officers from the Clifton neighbourhood policing team have been on hand at the Hope Centre in Clifton to help volunteers at the NG11 food bank re-stock and deliver some donations to members of the community in need.
The joint effort saw countless parcels being put together, including a number which were going to out to local care homes and also to schools, when the food bank opened for one of its twice-weekly collections earlier today (Tuesday 18 January 2022).
Local officers regularly visit the food bank, which opens on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, and some of the volunteers had collected donations from a range of sources, including supermarkets, the community and also officers who had made donations.
The all-important partnership work, which is a significant part of neighbourhood policing, is being highlighted as part of a national Neighbourhood Policing Week of Action.
The NG11 food bank in Clifton has been running for nearly ten years and over that time it has become a haven for those in need.
Manager Wendy White said: “Certainly for us, partnerships in Clifton are really important for us as a community who loves our community.
“I’ve known Police Sergeant Nigel Bradley for a good few years now and it’s very important that we all work together in partnership to support the communities, so it’s great to have officers down here and that their genuinely caring and wanting to find out about what we do.
“Our job is to support and love this community and primarily, as a food bank, we help anyone facing financial hardship.
“We also run a scheme where we help people with things like budgeting and meal planning, cooking, just to give people a few extra things to help bring them out of financial hardship.
“For us it’s about reaching as many people as we can from all walks of life. We support anyone in financial hardship and we know that officers are on the frontline and looking out for people and in people’s homes.
“They can also spread the word. The more people that we can support in financial hardship the better.
“A few people get missed and we don’t want that to happen, so the more we can work together to identify people in hardship, and direct them to the right help, the better.
Sergeant Nigel Bradley has been working within neighbourhood policing for over a decade and now, as Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant for Clifton, he oversees policing in the community and the team who were helping out.
He said: “We police the local area here in Clifton and, as part of our duties, we do come across people who are vulnerable and people who are struggling financially in the current climate at the minute.
“Working together with partners is a crucial part of what we do with neighbourhood officers. Being able to learn and recognise when we see poverty or deprivation is crucial to the community and when officers are out and about picking up the people in need they can signpost them to schemes such as the food bank and help those people get the support they need.
“It is also great to showcase to my staff, and especially those who are new to the team, what the food bank do, how we can support them and they’re here volunteering today, giving a little bit back and learning how the process works.
“In Clifton, this has been working really really well for the last ten years and with the group of volunteers they’ve got it’s excellent. We’re all aware of what each other’s role is in the community, from policing to supporting poverty, whether that’s good companions or friendship groups, there’s so much going on in Clifton with the groups, and this is a great example of that hard work that comes in with people volunteering their time to give a little bit back to the community.
“I want to thank Wendy for all her hard work over the last ten years for running the food bank in Clifton and we look forward to our work with her, and our other partners, for a long time to come.”