John Jay Shield

November 2018 - Nominations for the John Jay Shield are now open

Do you know someone who has gone out of their way to improve community safety in Poole?

Maybe they work with vulnerable victims or help to prevent crime or anti-social behaviour in their community. They could be a group or individual, a volunteer or someone employed to work in the community (provided they have gone beyond what is expected of them in their role).

However big or small their contribution to making Poole safer, we want to know about them.

The John Jay Shield is awarded every year by the Safer Poole Partnership in recognition of outstanding contributions to improving community safety in Poole.

The last winner, Samantha Witherington, was awarded the shield in recognition of her work speaking out publicly as a survivor of sexual violence, in the hope to empower victims to speak out about abuse and seek help with victims and survivors of sexual abuse. 

We know that there are many people working hard to make Poole safer but we rarely get to hear about them. Through the John Jay Shield we can give them the recognition they deserve but we need you to tell us who they are.

The window for nominating someone, or a group, will close on 11 January 2019.

What is the John Jay Shield?

The John Jay Shield exists to recognise the achievements of those individuals and groups that have gone beyond what is expected of them to make Poole a better and safer place, whether they are volunteers or employed to work in the community.

The Safer Poole Partnership awards the shield annually to the individual or group judged to have contributed the most to improving community safety over the previous year. Runners-up are also awarded certificates.

In order to be considered for the award, nominees must have contributed to at least one of the following during the previous financial year: 

  • making Poole a safer place 
  • building a supportive community 
  • improving the lives of people at risk of offending or re-offending 
  • supporting victims of crime 
  • helping prevent or detect crimes 

Previous winners

2016 Sam Witherington

Sam started speaking out as a survivor of sexual violence in 2014 on behalf of Dorset Rape Crisis and the local authority. Some of the things she has been involved with include: 

  • a university film for criminology students internationally 
  • consulting on the 2017 Broadchurch series 
  • media interviews, photoshoot and a short film for a sexual violence conference in Poole 
  • media work for Dorset Police including local press and a survivors web chat 
  • telling her story in full detail every few months to practitioners on a sexual violence awareness training course, influencing how midwives, social workers and health visitors respond to victims  

This was all on a voluntary basis and involved a lot of commitment and bravery. Sam has been on an amazing journey since reporting a long drawn out experience of sexual violence within a relationship.

She also worked for Dorset Police in the victims bureau, directly supporting those affected by crime in a way that is influenced by her own experiences. Meanwhile, Sam went through the reporting process with the police, securing her ex-partner's 10 year prison sentence.

2015 Mary Parsons

Mary serves her community in a number of voluntary roles, including Hamworthy Neighbourhood Watch and Poole Harbour Watch, where she is treasurer. In addition to these responsibilities, Mary has chaired the Association of Poole Watches for the past two years, bringing watch groups together to support each other. 

Mary has been unstinting in her commitment to the association and took on responsibility for organising the meetings and motivating others to get involved. Mary also represented Poole very effectively at a county level as part of the Association of Dorset Watches. 

As a result of Mary's hard work, watch groups are better aware of local crimes and crime prevention advice and there are better links between watch groups. The association has also supported new watch groups since Mary took on the role as chair. 

Mary resigned as chair in December 2015 but made sure that the association's achievements continued under her successor. During the past year, Mary has continued to be active with Harbour Watch, both as treasurer and as an active member. Her fellow committee member, David Butcher, describes Mary as 'incredibly energetic' and as someone who 'always follows things through'.

Mary was nominated for this award by Chris Beale. He said: 'I am aware from colleagues involved in the association and local Watch groups that there is considerable respect for Mary. Even though she has been in a lot of pain over the past year, she has never missed a meeting and has taken on a great deal of responsibility as chair of the association of Poole Watches'.

2014  The Safe Places Team

The Safe Places Team is made up of volunteers who work with businesses and community organisations to provide places where disabled and vulnerable people can get help if they are feeling unsafe or unwell. As a result of the team’s hard work, there are now 41 Safe Places across Poole. 

The volunteers have also worked hard to promote the scheme to Poole Forum members, carers and the wider community, as well as working with Borough of Poole to map the location of every Safe Place in Poole. They have provided training to local businesses on topics including disability hate crime, citizenship, equality and diversity.

2013  Mark Phillips

Working with the Footprints project, Mark worked tirelessly to rehabilitate ex-offenders, helping them to rebuild their lives without returning to crime. Mark even helped find voluntary work placements for seven ex-offenders at Parkstone Reform Church. 

On top of his work with Footprints, Mark is the Team Leader at Borough of Poole Chaplaincy and the Centre Manager at Parkstone Christian Centre. Through this he has worked with Borough of Poole employees to establish regular collections for Poole Food Bank.

2012  Sandie Marie

Sandie was awarded for her tireless work with survivors of domestic abuse through the Poole Survivors’ Forum, which she set up after recognising the need for ongoing support following the Pattern Changing course (which helps survivors of domestic abuse identify and break free from patterns of abuse). 

Sandie ran a weekly coffee morning and provided 24/7 emergency telephone support to survivors as well as organising events to raise awareness of domestic abuse and raise funds to support survivors. 

2011  Bourne Valley Action Group (BVAG)

Some of BVAGs successes in 2010/11 included:

  • organising family events, such as the Big Lunch, a fun day and a fireworks party which attracted 500 people 
  • arranging funding for and supporting the development of a new play area 
  • improving the look of the area by replanting 19 road planters, clearing undergrowth, collecting dog waste and arranging for bins to be moved where necessary 
  • providing activities for young people, including Play Ranger sessions and football coaching sessions, with more than 40 young people taking part.  

2010  Lou Knight

Lou volunteered his time to improve community safety in his roles as Safer Neighbourhood Chair for Hamworthy and chair of the Turlin Moor Action Group. In these roles he  contributed to many initiatives, such as the BMX cycle track at Carter Community School, organising free family fun days on Turlin Moor and working with the local youth club to organise holiday events for young people.

Page last updated: 16 December 2019
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