A POLICEMAN has been given a prestigious award for his work helping children on some of Wigan borough’s poorest housing estates.
At a ceremony at Wigan town hall, Constable Andrew Wright was awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation and the Wigan Metropolitan Borough Trophy (a miner’s lamp first awarded in 1991) for his work helping youngsters learn new skills through the ‘Nowt2Do’ project.
PC Wright, who is based with the Atherton Neighbourhood Team set up the scheme initially as a 10-week pilot scheme after hearing youngsters complaining that they had “nowt to do.”
The project is now in its fifth year. This scheme provides positive activities for young people, with the aim to bring out the best in them.
Young people have attended these activities more than 20,000 times since the project began and they have nearly reached their target of raising £100,000 for our communities. PC Wright wanted all young people to get involved so all events are free and are based at a variety of locations.
He encourages the children to think about what affects them and develop ideas to express their feelings. They have developed a drama about knife crime, a film about the project and are now on Facebook and Twitter and have their own website.
Both PC Wright’s family and a growing number of supporters have come on board, who are now called the Nowty Mums. At all stages, PC Wright has made sure that the project is firmly linked with GMP and its priority to reducing antisocial behaviour and this has reduced by 25 per cent.
Local schools and youth workers have seen improvements in troubled pupils and increases in self-esteem.
The project has been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark, the Best Young Persons Project at the Wigan Cultural Partnership awards and a national award from the Learning Exchange Awards.
Also commended was PC Scott Wolstenholme, from the Specialist Operations Branch, who was awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation for his first aid skills, when he revived a two year old girl who was choking. He was off duty and out with his family when he spotted a woman desperately trying to revive her two year old niece at the side of the A49 in Newton-le-Willows.
Scott pulled over and leapt out of his car to help, bringing her round in time for the paramedics to step in.