A Burnham-On-Sea karate instructor was among those recognised at a Pride Awards ceremony hosted by Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens this week.

The awards, which took place on Tuesday 13th August at the Police and Fire Headquarters in Portishead, saw the PCC recognise 13 worthy winners with PCC Pride Awards.

Nick Smith has been a karate instructor in Burnham-On-Sea for over 46 years.

Over the years, he has taught 100s of students about the importance of community, respect, discipline and achievement.

Nick said: “I feel very humbled to be amongst all of these fantastic individuals.”

“It’s great to receive recognition for my club in Burnham. Hopefully my karate classes have guided young people in the right direction.”

Award recipients and their guests were invited to have lunch with the PCC and Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Cullen before enjoying a tour of the communications centre where ‘999’ and ‘101’ calls are received.

PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “I always look forward to the Pride Awards as I get to say a big thank you to some truly extraordinary people; people who go about their everyday lives who make a difference to their local community with little or no recognition.”

“These awards highlight just some of the very special individuals we have living and working amongst us and their exemplary efforts are hugely appreciated across Avon and Somerset.”

“It’s important we take the time celebrate these inspirational and selfless individuals who work hard to help keep our communities safe and feeling safe.”

The other winners across the region included PCSO Anita Perks who supported a vulnerable woman in Eastville whose home had been taken over by drug dealers.  PC Claire Scarborough supported a young victim of assault and domestic violence.  Paul O’Bryan and PC Darren Pearson are nominated for their partnership working when they tackled a spree of anti-social behaviour in Wells.

During the afternoon lunch the winners told the PCC what they thought of the day. Avon and Somerset Police call handler Kate Bobbett answered a 999 call to a distraught parent whose child was not breathing. Thanks to Kate’s calm and professional approach, the young child received the support they needed. Kate said: “It’s nice to be recognised for doing my job. No one expects to be recognised for doing their job.”

Carol Casey, a community activist from South Bristol, is nominated for her vital role in the launch of the Knowle West Health Association and she now chairs the South Bristol Independent Advisory Group (IAG). Carol said: “I want to say a huge thank you to my nominators from the Filwood and Knowle beat team. They are the best neighbourhood team I have worked with and it is a pleasure to work with them on a daily basis. I’m grateful to be recognised for my work in Bristol.”

Others included Andy Canning, a security guard in Bath, is nominated for the support he gave police officers as they attempted to catch a fleeing offender and, thanks to Andy, the offender was detained.  Kerun Ford is recognised for his role on the South Gloucestershire Youth Board as he played a vital role in setting up a domestic violence strategy for young people.

David Pendle is Chair for the Bath and North East Somerset IAG. He is recognised for his dedication to the volunteering role and his hard work behind-the-scenes as a ‘quiet hero’ for local people.  Elaine Culley is recognised for her role as an Appropriate Adult and, since she started the role, she has contributed over 500 hours of her own time to support 210 vulnerable people in police custody.

John Swayne is Chair for the Somerset West IAG. He is nominated for his long-term commitment as a volunteer and support for the Constabulary’s achievements.  Weston-super-Mare Councillor, Sarah Codling, is nominated for the creation of her new community initiative ‘Ask Community Safety’ website.

If you would like to nominate someone for a PCC Pride Awards click here. People are encouraged to put names forward as nominations for the PCC’s Pride Awards. The Awards are open all year round and decisions will be made quarterly.