Safer community day highlights key services in town

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HUNDREDS of people turned out for a community safety day to raise awareness of vital services.

The Gosport Community Safety Partnership has been working for the last seven years to tackle crime, reduce anti-social behaviour and increase the feeling of safety in the Gosport community.

Sam Mitchell and her team put on a Safer Gosport Community Day in the town’s centre with a variety of stalls including Community First Responders, local Police, Y Services, GAFIRS and Serv Wessex.

Sam said: ‘I think it is so important for people to realise how many services we have available in Gosport to help our community, many of which are voluntary.

‘So this day is a chance for the kids to have a bit of fun learning about all the organisations and going in a police van, and also a chance for adults to find out about volunteer opportunities and what is out there to help their family.’

Serv Wessex was one organisation who have been coming along to the community safety day for the past few years.

Robert Smith from the voluntary organisation explained: ‘We provide transport for blood for the NHS as well as frozen milk for the neo-natal units and we come to these days as many people don’t know we exist, so these days are a really great way of getting our message out there and also fundraising.’

The organisation, which has 120 volunteers, has six bikes and two cars used for transportation throughout the week and last year covered 111,000 miles delivering items.

Robert added: ‘We also need to raise money to maintain our vehicles and we have many volunteers use their own vehicles to deliver whatever is needed to wherever it is needed across the south.’

Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Linda Batty said: ‘It was a really brilliant day and so well attended by services and the public.

‘It is important to raise the awareness of these services and get children involved.’

Gosport Police Cadets offered free bicycle coding and discounted cycle locks in a bid to reduce bike thefts, while the Hampshire Youth Commission spoke to young people as part of their Big Conversation initiative.

Sam added: ‘We have had a really good response from residents so I hope this day has given our community reassurance we are a safe community.’