PCSOs are making a real impact in the community by delivering over 500 of our Warm in Winter gift bags to individuals across Hertfordshire. Officers have distributed gift bags at community engagement events as well as directly to people’s homes. In addition, they are encouraged to gift Warm in Winter bags to older people that they identify as vulnerable and in need of support.

Lynne Misner, CEO and Founder of Small Acts of Kindness comments, “We are extremely appreciative for the support and time of the Hertfordshire PCSOs and believe very strongly that together we can make an impact in the community by reaching those older people who sometimes slip under the radar. Particularly those not currently engaging with existing support and services.  Our gift bags are a catalyst in creating connections. The legacy of this partnership extends far beyond the initial delivery of a gift bag and will have a lasting impact across communities”.

Whilst the majority of our 12,000 Warm in Winter gift bags are distributed through our network of community partners, hundreds are also given out to individuals who have been nominated by others or themselves. With local PCSOs delivering these gift bags, the recipient is then connected to a wider network of support in the community.

Chief Inspector Andy Wiseman, who is overseeing the project, said,  “We have worked in partnership with Small Acts of Kindness for the past four years and the support they provide to older and vulnerable people across Hertfordshire is invaluable. These bags are a real lifeline for some people and can have a huge impact”.

There are many thousands more older people who live in isolation, seemingly unreachable and in need of support. Working with Hertfordshire Police, we can bridge that gap with the help of officers in their community role.

PCSO Simon Jackman said, “It’s such a rewarding thing to do, to make a difference, and to show that policing is not just about crime prevention, but also about getting to know the community that you patrol, to give reassurance and advice”.

PCSO Anne Devine explained how handing out bags as part of her work as the local police’s Older Persons Liaison has impacted her, “I have had the pleasure of delivering the Small Acts Of Kindness bags to residents of Welwyn Hatfield since December.  To date, I have delivered 20 bags. Being able to turn up at their front door and deliver a small gift, which puts the biggest smile on their face, is priceless. Some residents have invited me in for a chat, which is a lovely gesture and I have gratefully accepted and stayed with them for a little while. Giving my time, which is so warmly received when they may not have spoken to anyone all day, is the highlight of my deliveries”.

We are hugely thankful to the PCSOs for their time and kindness, and the continued partnership and support of Hertfordshire Police to facilitate this wonderful initiative.