Two of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s PCSOs, Sandra and Mark Jones, have been recognised by HM The Queen for their voluntary work in the community, receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service on behalf of Gloucestershire’s Youth Mini Bike Project
Mark and Sandra set up Gloucestershire’s Youth Mini Bike Project in Gloucester in 2014. The project was originally set up to reduce the anti-social use of mini-moto bikes on the public highway and provide a legal and safe place for youngsters to ride mini-moto bikes. It has grown to become a superb tool to engage with often hard to reach, disadvantaged young people and their families. The project runs once a month and it has seen 1400 young riders through the doors since it began. The project currently has 32 community volunteers and 538 members on its Facebook page.
Sandra said: “We feel so happy for the project to be honoured by the Queen in this way. It’s a true recognition for the work undertaken by our dedicated team of volunteers. Mark and I have recently celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary and we make an excellent team, sharing the same ethos and work values. We are so lucky to work with our wonderful community of volunteers who share our passion and want to support the project, asking for nothing in return. It has grown into a community owned project and our families, partner agencies and the police feel like one big family.”
Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: “Sandra and Mark Jones exemplify the role of a Police Community Support Officer. They identified a problem but then worked hard with others in the community to produce a solution that is not only popular with the young people taking part but successful too. They thoroughly deserve their award and are a credit to the Constabulary”.
The project has received funding from Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl through the Commissioners Fund, and also received a community grant from the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire. Mr Surl said: “I’m delighted that the work and dedication of Sandra and Mark has been recognised by HM The Queen. Helping young people become law-abiding and responsible adults is a key feature of my Police and Crime Plan and the mini-moto project is a fantastic example of how the police in Gloucestershire are coming up with innovative ideas that are helping to reduce anti-social behaviour.”
Sandra and Mark will be presented with the Award, on behalf of the project, by Her Majesty’s representative Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, at a ceremony later this month. They were also invited to represent the project at one of Her Majesty’s summer garden parties. The happy photo taken on the day is a fabulous reminder of a wonderful day.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) was established in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and is given for outstanding achievement to groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to the community improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service. It’s the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK and recipients are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation (2 June 1953).