‘We wanted to remind the community that we’ll get through this together’
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Dozens of hampers packed with treats have been handed out to residents struggling with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Officers at Stoke-on-Trent North Neighbourhood Policing Team have linked in with local businesses to load up the gift packs with puzzles, flowers and even afternoon teas to raise the spirits of people in the community.
The team has identified residents they feel are vulnerable, lonely or are simply having a tough time in handling the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 29 hampers have now been delivered by police officers with recipients quick to thank the neighbourhood team for the initiative.
PCSO Jas Mahil said: “I managed to secure some funding from a local organisation to help people who are struggling during these challenging times.
“Not everyone has family members to check in on them and people’s mental health has also suffered.
“I approached local businesses for their support and all we wanted this project to do was to put some smiles on people’s faces. My colleagues and I worked out who would benefit from the hampers and we then set about delivering them.
“We all just feel like our communities need a little pick-me-up at the moment and we wanted to show that we are all in this together – and we will get through it.
“The reaction has been amazing, we have had people telling us that they are overwhelmed by the gesture and how the hampers have helped to lift their spirits.”
Chief Inspector Mark Barlow, commander of Stoke-on-Trent North NPT, has praised his officers for backing the initiative. He said: “This was just a small way to show our residents that we are thinking of them. Our neighbourhood officers are not only here to deal with crime but to provide a level of support to those who need it.
“The lockdowns have been tough on many people and we are acutely aware of the impact it has had and continues to have. I am really proud of the team for putting this together, and then going out delivering these hampers to hopefully put smiles on people’s faces.”