Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens has made a special visit to Burnham-On-Sea this week, meeting residents at the town’s library and calling in at Burnham charity Somewhere House Somerset.
At Somewhere House Somerset, the PCC met with Angie, who opened the charity in 2006 alongside her husband, David. The charity specialists in helping people with mental health issues through one-to-one group sessions.
Since its opening, the Somewhere House has evolved from its original rehabilitation centre. The charity now offers donation-only counselling sessions and their six counsellors cover issues such as substance misuse to bereavement.
Their new base at Tesco in Burnham opened last April and now offers a dedicated safe environment for children, adults and families to discuss any personal issues they have.
The charity relies on donations and fundraising campaigns to operate and Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner has supported the new initiative with funding from the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund.
Speaking after the meeting, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “It is an honour to see the work that local organisations and charities like Somewhere House are doing to support local people. It’s really important for me to hear about the issues that local people face so that I can understand the communities across Avon and Somerset so that we can work together to make our communities stronger.”
Following this, the PCC hosted a public drop-in session at the Burnham-on-Sea library. She was joined by members of the local neighbourhood team to take people’s questions about local policing.
During the session, attendees raised concerns about anti-social behaviour and road safety amongst other private worries. Local people were advised to report concerns to the local team and suggested that they join local Neighbourhood Watch and Community Speed Watch schemes as well as burglary prevention advice.
To end the day, the PCC visited a group of local farmers and representatives from the National Farmers Union (NFU) to discuss rural crime. During the meeting, the group talked about the challenges they face, crime prevention and how local farmers can work with the police to tackle crime and catch those responsible.
PCC Sue Mountstevens reflected on the day’s meetings: “I appreciate hearing about the issues that rural communities face. It is only by speaking to local people that I can truly understand the issues they face, find out what is required to make their communities safer and be their voice in policing.”