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Posted on: 29th March 2018

Open Road honoured in Police Awards

It’s usually annoying to be interrupted on your holiday, but on this occasion, Steve Wood, Open Road’s Criminal Justice and Welfare Manager, was over the moon to be told that he had been named as the overall winner in this year’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex Community Safety Awards.

“The Devon coastline suddenly looked even more beautiful” said Steve “I was nominated alongside several amazing people who run equally deserving projects for the people of Essex. I never expected to get the overall award.”

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst unveiled the winners and runners up at his annual conference on15th March. The awards recognise people from across the county who have made an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Community safety’ who were nominated by members of the public. Steve was one of six finalists and, as overall winner, received £500 to go towards Open Roads’ work in the community.

Steve manages an incredible four major projects which each deliver valuable support to some of the most vulnerable in our society, 365 days and year at unsociable and irregular hours. By their very nature these services can be challenging and unpredictable yet Steve has established a group of over 200 volunteers who deliver these services across Essex.

In the past year, the Essex Appropriate Adults Service has supported nearly 1500 vulnerable adults and young people in custody suites across Essex. The SOS buses have helped 1080 people thus avoiding over 503 A&E admissions and helping them and the criminal justice system in Essex to focus their resources on other areas. The Essex Women’s Project has supported 438 women offenders, finding new and innovative ways to engage with them, for example by taking part in morale-boosting outward bound experiences or by gaining a qualification.

Roger Hirst, said: “Each and everyday people across Essex go out of their way to make a positive contribution to their communities. Whether that is through supporting vulnerable people, helping to prevent crime or making our communities safe there are a lot of people going above and beyond to keep their communities safe. These awards help recognise those people by celebrating the contribution they make and supporting them in making a difference.”

We say, “Extra ice creams all round Steve! We’re really proud of you.”