Today the spotlight falls on the nominees in the Emergency Services category for the Examiner Community Awards 2015.
The winner will be revealed at the glittering awards night at the John Smith’s Stadium on Wednesday, June 3.
Sponsoring the award is LV=, which has been operating out of Huddersfield for over 30 years and now has over 300 employees based in its Folly Hall Mills office looking after its 5.7 million customers.
Here are the people who made the shortlist:
PCSOs Jon Arey, Morgan Cockroft and Paul Simpkins
It’s a song that you just can’t escape no matter where you go.
The Disney song Let It Go from blockbuster film Frozen seems to be everywhere and so became the natural choice to fight crime and get across vital safety messages.
PCSOs Jon Arey, Morgan Cockroft and Paul Simpkins from Huddersfield Neighbourhood Policing Team turned it into a brilliant parody and renamed it Ready To Go.
They rewrote the lyrics to highlight the seasonal drink drive, darker nights and crime prevention campaigns.
But how could they get round the thorny issue of copyright? It wasn’t easy.
They talked to Warner Music to try to secure copyright permission. Despite a number of setbacks, the officers remained unfazed and continued to push for the song to be used which culminated in having the song sent to Disney in America and also liaising with West Yorkshire Police’s solicitors’ office. It took six months to get final agreement from Disney but it was well worth the effort in the end.
The three wrote the song at the start of last summer, penning the lyrics and directing and recording the video all in their own time and involving members of the community they serve.
The Chief Constable was so impressed he asked them to perform it at Wakefield Cathedral in front of a large audience and Ready To Go was used as part of West Yorkshire Police’s winter crime prevention campaigns. The song proved to be an instant hit for the force and ended up being featured on Good Morning Britain, in national newspapers and requests to use the song came in from as far away as Norway!
Ready To Go generated more than 14,000 viewer hits in less than four weeks from going live.
They were nominated by Sgt Zaheer Abbas from West Yorkshire Police who said: “This is a fantastic achievement for both the officers involved and West Yorkshire Police itself and has resulted in being able to reach out to other members of the community who may otherwise have missed the crime prevention campaign. The overall response from the general public has been fantastic with positive words of encouragement. The Huddersfield Neighbourhood team has subsequently been asked to help the media department with other forcewide projects using their skills and contacts.”
Jon Dunkerley, Andrew Barraclough and Karen Imeson
It was a race that had the world watching Yorkshire – but the logistical planning for last July’s Tour de France when it passed through Kirklees was colossal.
The team given this unenviable task by West Yorkshire Police was Insp Jonathan Dunkerley, Sgt Andrew Barraclough and Pc Karen Imeson.
The Tour’s regional highlight was Holme Moss where more than 80,000 spectators gathered to watch the event but for over 12 months this police team worked tirelessly to liaise with the community in its widest sense and worked closely with other organisations to ensure the event passed trouble-free.
Anne Rollinson from West Yorkshire Police nominated them and said: “It is difficult to articulate the passion and commitment these officers gave to this event and the results were very telling.”
Their planning included extensive community briefings often attended by more than 500 people and sometimes involved intense negotiations with the local farming community.
The planning operationally was logistically very challenging and included dealing with staff welfare needs and the impact on district. Detailed traffic management plans were a complex challenge to deal with effectively.
But best of all, their plans were so well thought through that when things went awry it caused no significant problems.
Anne added: “On the day security staff did not turn up as promised by event organisers, radios failed but the planning of these three staff meant the operation still ran smoothly. Jon and his team were on the ground endless hours before and during the event, checking the route and engaging with partners and colleagues, continually problem solving.
“Across Kirklees staff undoubtedly stepped up to the plate on the day across all departments but these three deserve special mention and recognition at a force level for delivering an excellent event on a worldwide stage that enhanced our profile within our communities and across the globe.
“They did this planning and delivery over and above their day job which is not mirrored across the force. In terms of a Neighbourhood approach to planning an event, this is neighbourhood policing at its best.”
Blue Watch at Cleckheaton Fire Station
Firefighters initially felt helpless when one of their own revealed he was suffering from terminal cancer.
But that quickly gave way to a grim determination by Cleckheaton Fire Station’s Blue Watch to do something positive.
In October 2013 Mat Wood was diagnosed with stage 4 oesophageal cancer – and the dad was just 42.
His colleague and friend, Watch Manager Damian Cameron, said: “It had an immediate impact upon the shift and we felt helpless. We are so used to being able to help people but we felt like we couldn’t help one of our own.”
The firefighters told Mat they wanted to do something to help and he suggested raising money for Yorkshire Cancer Research and The Fire Fighters Charity as both charities were helping him.
The result was Dutch Courage – a cycle ride of 500 miles in 48 hours from Cleckheaton to Amsterdam via France and Belgium before running the Amsterdam Marathon.
It quickly turned into a major community event once Blue Watch contacted everyone from schools to sheltered houses, local shops and businesses, sports clubs and social clubs. Many responded by joining in the fundraising and more than 2,000 people attended a fundraising open day at Cleckheaton fire station.
Damian said: “Every section of the community was involved and really supported the challenge.”
On October 17, 2014 – one year exactly to the day of Mat’s life-changing diagnosis – Cleckheaton Blue Watch set off on their Dutch Courage challenge.
Damian said: “It was completed with passion, pride and emotion. Mat even managed to make the trip which gave us a huge boost when tired legs kicked in.”
Thirteen members of Blue Watch completed the gruelling cycle ride and 11 were able to go on and run the marathon.
Damian added: “I have never experienced such support for a charity challenge – it was extremely humbling to have what seemed like the support of an entire community from young schoolchildren through to the senior citizens.”
It is something that sincerely touched the whole shift and something we will never forget. We wanted to show Mat some support but in the end it felt like the whole community did the same.”
The total amount raised was £16,940.
Mat sadly passed away at Kirkwood Hospice on May 11 aged just 44.
Following the Dutch Courage challenge he told the team: “Thank you so, so much guys. This has been absolutely amazing.”
Coming tomorrow: nominees for the Sports Personality Award.