Published: October 22, 2010
Top police award won by Highbridge Dreamscheme members

Youngsters and leaders from Highbridge's Dreamscheme were celebrating on Thursday (October 21st) after scooping a top police award for their work.

The group won the sought-after accolade at the third annual Children and Young People's Awards, which are held by Avon and Somerset Police to celebrate the achievements of young people in the force area.

There were three individual winners and three group winners from across the whole force region, who were all recognised for the contribution they had made to their local communities.

The Highbridge police beat team, in partnership with the Local Action Team, set up the Highbridge Dreamscheme in January 2009 in response to concerns about anti-social behaviour during the school holidays.

The scheme is entirely self-funded and is staffed by volunteers who put in a huge amount of hard work in setting up and running sessions. Over 100 young people, aged between 8 and 14, take part and they have collectively provided over 1,500 hours of community work in Highbridge since the scheme began.

The activities they undertake are always identified by the young people and what they consider relevant to the community.

Their activities have included collecting over 70 bags of rubbish during a litter pick, an activity which contributed towards Highbridge winning a silver medal in this year's Britain in Bloom competition.

They have also washed cars to help raise hundreds of pounds towards local charities over the summer.

The young people say they enjoy the work aspect more than the rewards as they get such a good response from the public, instilling a sense of pride and belonging. They have also received huge support from residents, who appreciate all that they do.

The group's leader, Jason Adams, thanked the police for the award and told "It was a fantastic day and all of us really enjoyed it. The police also laid on a special firearms display for us to watch after the awards, which was a great end to the day."

PCSO Claire Finch added: "We are absolutely thrilled that the Dreamscheme has been recognised in this way and would like to pass on our thanks to all the children who take part and the volunteers that help us. We hope that the group's success can continue to grow."

Sgt Ian Kennett also praised the group's work, saying they are "a great credit to the town" and that the award was "very well deserved."

Deputy Chief Constable Rob Beckley, who presented the awards, added: "It is great to see young people so involved in their communities. All of our winners have shown what can be achieved with dedication and hard work and the difference it can make to other people's lives. I would like to congratulate all our winners and nominees and encourage them to keep up the good work."

Pictured, top, are the Dreamscheme members with Deputy Chief Constable Rob Beckley at Thursday's ceremony and, beneath, the youngsters over the summer months and, above, the firearms display on Thursday


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