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Remarkable acts of bravery and commitment were celebrated at a special ceremony last week.
A Chief Constable’s Awards ceremony was held at Warwick Racecourse on Thursday 17 March, where a number of officers, staff, volunteers and members of the public received awards.
A number of guests including the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire Mr Tim Cox and the High Sheriff of Warwickshire, The Lady Willoughby de Broke, attended the event.
Seven officers were presented with Long Service and Good Conduct medals. To achieve this, they must have completed a minimum of 20 years’ service and during that time their character and conduct has been honourable.
Three colleagues from the Force's Special Constabulary were also awarded with a Long Service and Good Conduct medal, which is awarded upon completion of nine years’ service, and two members of police staff were given Long Service Certificates, having completed 20 years’ service with the force.
Two special awards were presented to a Criminal Justice Supervisor with over 40 years’ service and to another police staff member in the vetting department for an award issued by the Home Office.
Chief Constable’s Commendations
These awards were presented following a recommendation to the Chief Constable, and were carefully considered based on a number of strict criteria:
A 17-year-old girl who helped to save the life of a child in Rugby received a Chief Constable’s Commendation.
In February 2020, Evie Headland was on her way home when she noticed her neighbour’s front door was open and a woman was screaming.
Evie went into the house and found a female child in cardiac arrest. She immediately began to administer CPR and continued until paramedics arrived.
Following Evie’s award, Chief Constable Debbie Tedds said: “The actions of Evie are incredible and demonstrate the very best of community spirit.
"The levels of clarity of thought and calmness demonstrated by Evie at such a young age were outstanding. Paramedics praised Evie and said that had she not administered CPR when she did, the child may not have survived.”
PC Lauryn Churchill, Darrell Churchill, Alicia Churchill
The efforts of a police officer and her parents to save the life of a three-year-old girl were recognised with a Chief Constable’s Commendation at the event.
In July 2020, PC Lauryn Churchill was off duty when a child was involved in a collision with a car in Leamington.
Along with her parents – Darrell and Alicia Churchill – Lauryn took control of the situation and commenced CPR.
Tragically, the child had sustained very serious injuries and sadly died, but the efforts of Lauryn, Darrell and Alicia had given her the best possible chance of survival.
Once emergency services arrived on the scene Lauryn consoled the girl’s sister.
Chief Constable Debbie Tedds said: “The events surrounding this award are extremely sad. The levels of courage and selflessness displayed despite PC Churchill having only been out of initial training for six months, showed the very best of policing despite being off duty.
“Darrell and Alicia went above and beyond to support the girl’s family and the attending officers during an extremely traumatic incident.”
Following the publication of these awards, it was brought to our attention that another member of the public, Sharon Wallsgrove, did everything possible to assist by giving CPR to the injured girl and liaising with emergency services. We would also like to recognise her brave efforts in attempting to save the girls life.
PCSO Helena Seal and PCSO Tony Winter
Two PCSOs who helped save the life of vulnerable woman in the Rugby area were recognised for their efforts at ceremony.
In January 2021, PCSOs Helena Seal and Tony Winter were responding to a report of a high-risk missing person who was believed to be in a wooded area near the town.
They found the woman in an extremely vulnerable and agitated state and she did not want to engage with the PCSOs.
Through patience and determination, PCSO Seal managed to talk with the woman, approaching cautiously, so as not to frighten or cause harm to her. Meanwhile, PCSO Winter managed to secure the attendance of other officers.
Following the event, Chief Constable Debbie Tedds said: “Both officers showed a great deal of compassion and resilience while helping the vulnerable woman. Their actions saved her life and enabled her to be brought to safety and access further support.”
Police Cadet Alexandra Williams
A Warwickshire Police Cadet who dedicated her time during lockdown to learning sign language was the final person recognised with a Chief Constable’s Award.
Alexandra Williams achieved level four accreditation in British sign language having no previous experience or knowledge.
To help promote Deaf Awareness Week in May 2021 Alexandra made a video that was posted on the force’s social media accounts and received an overwhelming number of positive comments and shares.
Chief Constable Debbie Tedds said: “Alexandra has demonstrated her commitment to the cadet scheme and shown a true passion for sign language and helping others. In her own time she delivered training in basic sign language to her fellow cadets. We are extremely proud of her.”
Speaking at the event, Chief Constable Debbie Tedds said: “It is an absolute privilege to be presenting these awards this evening, and take the opportunity to reflect on some of the remarkable acts of professionalism, bravery and dedication displayed by colleagues and members of the public.
Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has been recognised this evening, they should be immensely proud of their achievements.”
A further awards ceremony is taking place on Thursday 24 March.
Issued: HCB, Corporate Communications