A GROUP of enterprising youngsters pulled out all the stops to help give the cold shoulder to cold callers in an Anglesey village.
Uninvited doorstep visitors were becoming a real nuisance to the community of Moelfre, so local PCSO Iona Beckmann asked members of the area’s youth club to help combat the problem.
A dozen of them, aged 11 to 14, rose to the challenge earlier this year by acting out a short drama in the village hall timed to coincide with the launch of the Moelfre No Cold Calling Zone which encouraged more people to be aware of doorstep crime.
Youth club members have also helped to clean up to the village in other ways, such as taking part in litter picking sessions.
Their keen sense of community spirit has landed the club the coveted Young Person of the Year Award in the second annual awards run by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick.
Mr Roddick launched the awards last year as a way to honour unsung crime fighting heroes across all North Wales communities in what was the first initiative of its kind in England and Wales.
The aim of the scheme is to officially recognise people who help police to keep their neighbourhood or town a peaceful and safe place to live and work and who help in rehabilitating offenders.
The Young Person of the Year Award is for an individual or group under the age of 25 who have made a difference in their family and/or community by working with the police and contributing to awareness-raising around crime prevention or public safety.
It was presented to Moelfre Youth Club members and their leader Sioned Sawicz by Mr Roddick at the 2015 awards ceremony at the Kinmel Manor Hotel in Abergele.
Sioned said: “The young people showed commitment and determination while completing the cold calling project, which we were asked to get involved in by our local PCSO.
“The village hall was absolutely packed for the drama they performed, which lasted about half an hour.
“About 60 or 70 people came along to see it, including the area’s Welsh Assembly Member, Rhun ap Iorwerth.
“The young people have shown dedication by carrying out the activities in their own time, worked well as a team and some of them have overcome their confidence issues.
“The young people were also able to break down barriers between them and the elderly, and one comment we received from an elderly person was, `So good to see young people helping in their community and not standing in the bus stop doing nothing’.
“While completing a litter pick with Keep Wales Tidy the young people worked hard to make sure the Moelfre park area was a safer environment for children to play in, they also helped clear the gardens of elderly people.
“During the Benllech Summer Safety day club members encouraged the children to make positive choices and got involved in all the sessions by raising awareness on first aid, road safety, sea safety and stranger danger.
“We received a few comments from the parents of the children which said this was a brilliant project and how grateful they were to the youth services and the police.”
In nominating the club for the award, PCSO Iona Beckmann said: “Moelfre youths engaged brilliantly with the youth services and myself to make the project a great success.
“The comments from residents and the community council have been very positive and I’m so proud of the young people of Moelfre for taking such pride in their community.
“I would also like to thank Sioned Sawicz and Cara Williams, the youth workers, who have been so dedicated to making the project such a great success.”
Of the PCC award win, club leader Sioned added: “We are surprised but very pleased to hear about it and I am proud of all our young members.
“They are very public spirited and worked very hard on the crime prevention projects.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick, who in his time has served as a police officer, a barrister and a judge, said: “One thing all our winners have in common is that they make North Wales a better and safer place to live and work.
“There are a great number of people who do a lot of good in the community by helping North Wales Police and these silent workers go way beyond anybody else to make a contribution and ensure their communities are safe.
“In the overwhelming number of cases, this a personal commitment made without expectation of any kind of reward or recognition.
“I created the awards so that these unsung heroes and heroines of communities across North Wales could receive the recognition they deserve and to encourage others to emulate their good example.”