A volunteer who gives up his free time to help the police on the Fylde coast today told how he is “proud” to help keep residents safe.
Andrew Noble was one of the volunteers – who have racked up more than 14,500 hours’ service between them – recognised for their efforts at an event held by Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
For the last two years, the 48-year-old, from St Annes, has helped out by holding police surgeries and offering support and advice to residents in Fylde.
He also runs a coffee morning for the area’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
Mr Noble told The Gazette he was “honoured” to be asked to speak at the volunteers’ event in Garstang on Wednesday.
He said: “It was just amazing –absolutely incredible.
“It was such a celebration of volunteers and the valuable work they do.”
With Lancashire Police having to cope with dwindling resources in the face of budget cuts, he said, the role of volunteers has become increasingly important.
“I am proud to get involved,” he added.
“With the austerity cutbacks, I feel the role of volunteers is ever more essential and relevant. I was invited up on stage at the event to showcase what I do.
“Part of the presentation was about my proudest moments – one of them was getting the divisional commander’s commendation at the Tower Ballroom last year.”
The event in Garstang, at the Crofter’s Hotel, was one of three held around the county during National Volunteers Week to thank the volunteers who offer support to Lancashire’s police officers.
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said volunteers will play an increasingly important role in the future.
He added: “Volunteers provide a vital link between the county’s varied and diverse communities and the police and so I was absolutely delighted to meet them all personally to thank them for the work they do.
“The contribution of volunteers cannot be underestimated. Lancashire Police is an outstanding force and the work they do helps us to keep that status.
“Our volunteers are a real asset and their contribution will continue to be valued.”
Chief Supt Stuart Noble, West Division commander, who was at the event, said: “I have always believed that the very best police service is delivered for and with communities.
“Our ambition remains to increase the number of volunteers under the Citizens in Policing programme as they offer a wealth of personal experience, professional skills from different backgrounds and a perspective that enables us to deliver the best possible service to our communities.”