Unsung Heroes – Frontline Keyworkers
“For fifteen years, I have been stationed in one of the busiest and most challenging places, Bradford.”
It was at the beginning of 2018 when I encountered a string of challenging issues. I lost my father, I suffered poor mental health and because of a severe arthritic condition I was no longer able to perform frontline duties. But even with all these hindrances, I remained strong and was nominated for the National Diversity Awards by my peers.
Currently, I work in the Peoples Development Unit at Trafalgar House Police Station where I assess the work of students training to become Police Officers. Although, I am not working on the frontline, I am still in close contact with colleagues who are.
During these challenging and difficult times, made even more threatening by the emergence of COVID 19, I overheard nightshift colleagues talking about missing meals or having to deal with some members of the public spitting at officers while claiming to have the virus. This really bothered me.
I have heard the immense public support for our well-deserved NHS heroes, but I felt that my colleagues deserved just as much support. I was aware that the force and other organisations were facing an unprecedented situation, therefore I decided to help. Upon discovering that this was also happening in other divisions across the district, I liaised with an inspector about an idea of distributing home cooked meals and he agreed that I should do it.
Before going ahead, I passed this idea through the Bradford Hindu Council who gave me their full support. However, it wasn’t just wider organisations that wanted to help, close family and friends also wanted to support the cause.
I decided to focus on the five Police response teams on nightshift throughout the Bradford District included stations in Bradford, Shipley and Keighley. We were soon providing provided over 80 meals per night, and due to the enormous response from families, we also supported the Divisional Control Room, Custody, CID and the helpdesk.
Without the help from parents, families with and without children, this amazing support would never have happened. Children also helped the cause by drawing pictures for the officers which brought smiles to their faces and a well-deserved boost to our workers.
The response from colleagues at work has been amazing. Since the start of this project, we have also helped paramedic responders from Bradford, Keighley and Skipton stations, and we are also planning on supporting the Pudsey Response Officers.
At time of writing we had cooked a total of 1400 meals, which have brought emotional responses, smiles and kind words. The Office of Police Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson has also observed the progress of the program, and welcomed the support from the community.
All I wanted was my colleagues to feel valued for their amazing work under these difficult and scary times. Thanks to the support of the Bradford Hindu Council and its community, the project was delivered and accepted with open arms, bringing community engagement to the forefront at a time when we all needed to be able to rely on each other the most.