Sussex Police Divisional Commendation: Littlehampton team at Turning Tides reflects on challenges faced during height of pandemic

The Littlehampton team at West Sussex charity Turning Tides has spoken of its pride in being recognised by Sussex Police for its work with homeless people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Staff and volunteers were part of Operation Manner, a policing initiative across Arun and Chichester where officers worked to engage with and support members of the street community.

Turning Tides was praised for its work as a partner agency, helping to reduce antisocial behaviour, protect vulnerable people and identify safeguarding needs.

The charity received a Divisional Commendation from Sussex Police and its community workers were commended for their tireless efforts throughout the pandemic at the awards ceremony at Arundel Castle last month.

Philip Stone, community inclusion worker, accepted the Divisional Commendation from Sussex Police on behalf of the Littlehampton team at West Sussex charity Turning Tides

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Philip Stone, who received the award on behalf of the Littlehampton team, said: “This award brought a time of reflection on the difficulties we all faced during the pandemic.

“The award highlighted the importance of the strong partnerships we have made with other agencies that enables positive outcomes – even in the face of adversity.

“Covid-19 changed the way we lived and worked, isolating us not just as workers but as everyday people. Sharing thoughts and decisions with fellow colleagues and agencies to support the most vulnerable gave the added strength and support needed throughout this difficult time.”

Philip has been a community inclusion worker in the area for more than three years and said it was ‘an absolute honour’ to receive the award on behalf of the whole team.

It was PC Laura Marmolejo who nominated the Littlehampton team for the award, in recognition of the work that took place during the height of the pandemic.

She said: “I wanted the efforts of Littlehampton staff to be recognised. Joint working was instrumental across all sectors in safeguarding those in our community who were especially vulnerable when Covid was rife.

“The Turning Tides team work selflessly to ensure the support mechanisms are in place for anyone who finds themselves homeless. The work they do is invaluable and we at Sussex Police appreciate all their hard and look forward to working with them in future.”

Turning Tides runs 39 projects across West Sussex, supporting people who have no place to call home. During the pandemic, it has played a critical role, providing support to homeless people and securing longer term housing solutions.

Chief Superintendent Howard Hodges, divisional commander for West Sussex, said: “These awards are held annually to recognise the achievements of individuals who make a difference, both from within our own workforce as well as our volunteers and members of the public.

“This event is a special occasion in a special venue which we have matched with special people, and gives us the opportunity to showcase these people for going above and beyond, and for making a difference to our communities across West Sussex.”