Wiltshire's unsung heroes rewarded

Wiltshire Times: Chief Constable Pat Geenty presents Warminster CCTV’s Mike Herriott and team with their award Chief Constable Pat Geenty presents Warminster CCTV’s Mike Herriott and team with their award

The chairman of a Trowbridge community group which has raised thousands of pounds for local causes was among the unsung heroes recognised by Wiltshire Police last week.

James McDonald has been chairman of the Longmeadow tenants and residents’ association since 2006, and was named runner up community champion of the year at the first Neighbourhood Policing Awards.

The awards were set up by Police and Crime Comm-issioner Angus Macpherson to recognise the work of volunteers across the country.

Mr McDonald said: “To be recognised is a great feeling, but we do it as a team, all for the benefit of the community.

“We run two youth groups a week, which can attract between 65 and 90 kids on a Saturday morning.

“We have families coming along from Westbury, Brad-ford and Melksham because nobody else does what we do.

“We have got lots of consoles, four pool tables, table tennis and DJ equipment the kids can use, and we have coffee mornings where people come to use the computers for job searches, CV checks and to check the housing lists.”

The tenants and residents’ association also rallied to raise funds for residents at the Weavers Drive sheltered accommodation bungalows, after a fire last November.

Mr McDonald said: “We helped to organise their Christmas dinner, and we’re making plans now for another one this year.

“We stepped in to help where we could and over a 10- week period we managed to raise a total of £4,200.

“It just shows what you can do when the community comes together for a common purpose.”

The awards were presented by Wiltshire’s Chief Constable Pat Geenty at police headquarters in Devizes last Friday, following Mr Mac-pherson’s recent heart attack.

Awards were also presented to the Trowbridge Neigh-bourhood Policing Team for the speedy response to local issues in Hilperton and North Bradley, and to the Warmin-ster CCTV team.

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