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Knitters needed for child support scheme

24 Oct 2018

Keen crafters are being sought to help with a scheme which has been launched in enquiry offices across Cambridgeshire to support children who come into contact with us.

Thorpe Wood enquiry officer Rosie Dobslaw started the scheme when her mum, who runs a knitting group, donated spare teddies to give to children as they come into our stations.

Young children come into contact with us for various reasons and for many it can be a frightening experience, in a strange environment. Some are victims of crime or road traffic collisions which can leave them traumatised.

Rosie said: “I work in the Enquiry Office at Thorpe Wood and often come across children that either come into our care, victims of crime or they are just scared and intimidated by the surroundings they find themselves in.

“My mum runs a knitting group and they had a few teddies going spare, so they donated them to us. I have since given out the teddies to young children and it has been a real success, it gives them reassurance, comfort and they feel secure.

“Most recently was a small child who was here with her mum, she thought we were going to arrest her because ‘that is what police do’. This simple gesture went a long way in breaking down barriers and making her feel less afraid.”

Enquiry officer Rosie Dobslaw with a grateful recipient of a bear
Enquiry officer Rosie Dobslaw with a grateful recipient of a bear

A plea is being put out to any keen knitters or those who crochet to get their needles and hooks out and help us build up a stock of soft animals to be given to children. They will need to be suitable for younger children, so no loose attachments such as buttons and eyes.

The scheme is being fully supported by both Chief Constable Nick Dean and Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite. Mr Dean said: “I am fully behind this initiative – at a most vulnerable time we need to support victims and especially young people. This may seem a small gesture but we cannot underestimate the impact of crime on any person.”

Mr Ablewhite said: “I personally think this is a great initiative and one that we should rightly be proud of. Thanks to Rosie and her mum for getting this started, I hope we will see many people get behind this cause.”

Those who are able to support the scheme are asked to deliver teddies to any enquiry office within Cambridgeshire.

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