Hayling’s PC Debbie is shining light in the community

PC Debbie Surridge at an activities day at Hayling College with Matthew White and Sam Gibbs
PC Debbie Surridge at an activities day at Hayling College with Matthew White and Sam Gibbs
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

Children in Need: Junior School has a pretty perfect Pudsey plan

  • PC Debbie Surridge was inspired to open a climbing wall by young people of Hayling
  • Raised £50,000 and opened in 2011
  • Named as a Point of Light by the Prime Minister
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THE Prime Minister has heaped praise on a police officer who has helped her community scale new heights.

PC Debbie Surridge managed to raise £50,000 to have a climbing wall installed at Hayling College. She even trained in her own time to become a climbing instructor to teach young people.

Debbie is a shining example of the difference that people can make in their local communities

David Cameron

Now David Cameron has given her a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who make a difference to their communities and inspire others. Since it opened five years ago thousands of people have used the climbing wall.

In a letter to PC Surridge the PM said: ‘Debbie is a shining example of the difference that people can make in their local communities.

‘Her passion and dedication to create the facilities that young people want has delivered a climbing wall and park for the whole community to enjoy. I am delighted to be able to recognise Debbie as a Point of Light.’

PC Surridge came up with the idea in 2009 after speaking to young people on the streets of Hayling who complained they had nowhere to go and had little to do in the area.

After finding out that Hayling College had a derelict climbing wall within their sports hall, she made it her mission to refurbish it.

Working with Hampshire County Council and Hayling College she managed to successfully bid for £50,000 from The People’s Millions fund.

She said: ‘I’m totally shocked and amazed by this award. I love working with young people.

‘Young people today have so much on their shoulders and if can help them in any way then I am happy.

‘Young people are our future.’