14 January 2021
Welfare Van Brings Christmas and New Year Cheer
Officers received a welcome break, hot drinks and snacks over the Christmas period when the Chair of Leicestershire Police Federation took its Welfare Van out on the road.
Chair Adam Commons took the van out across Leicestershire in bitterly cold conditions on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, supporting officers on the ground, giving them the opportunity to warm up and talk through any issues they had.
Adam said: “Initially when we planned for it, we were in a Tier 3 lockdown so the thinking was that many people would still be out and we would still be able to go out and about, engage with all the members, give them hot drinks and snacks at a very busy time of the year and hopefully help them through their day. Especially with Boxing Day, because it was going to fall on a Saturday when the shops were open and it had all the hallmarks of being incredibly busy.
“Obviously New Year’s Eve was an unknown quantity at that point, it could have been very, very busy, we just didn’t know. But I wanted to be available to go out and visit all the officers and offer them hot drinks and snacks if they were out and about in the cold weather, going to lots of jobs.”
The van travelled all over the county, from the northern areas of Coalville and Loughborough on Christmas Eve, to Leicester, Melton, Market Harborough, Hinckley, Braunstone and Euston Street on subsequent days.
Officers were happy to see the van, Adam said: “They were all incredibly appreciative of it, the fact that we took the time to go out there. Just seeing us and being able to speak to us if they wanted to, I think it’s gone down incredibly well.”
The welfare van has a microwave and hot drink facilities, as well as a toilet in the back. There’s a heated seating area in the van where, in pre-COVID times, officers could rest and have a cup of tea with colleagues and Fed reps.
Adam said that the Federation was very proud of the Welfare Van and the services it provided.
He said: “I also deployed it to an incident over the Christmas period when the weather was extremely cold. You can see the looks on colleague’s faces. When it turned up there was almost a sense of relief. They’d been on points for two or three hours in the cold and they know when we turn up there’s somewhere they can go to the toilet in private, they can come and get a drink and they can just relax for a few minutes before they have to go back. So it is an amazing resource that we are very proud to have.”