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Suffolk police support volunteer Sarah Hills wins Unsung Hero award from British Horse Society

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A Suffolk police support volunteer has won the Unsung Hero category in the national awards from the British Horse Society (BHS).

Sarah Hills who is one of Suffolk Constabulary's mounted volunteers, picked up her certificate from BHS president and Doc Martin star Martin Clunes at Newbury racecourse.

A keen rider, Sarah is part of the “Eyes and Ears” scheme encouraging rural communities to report any criminal activity in their neighbourhoods.

Sarah was presented the award by Martin Clunes. Picture: Suffolk Police
Sarah was presented the award by Martin Clunes. Picture: Suffolk Police

She is also currently taking part in the national Ready2Help Campaign which raises awareness about volunteering opportunities in the police.

Having worked as a police volunteer for seven years, Sarah and Robbie also completed a 50-mile ride through East Suffolk for charity in 2018.

Sarah attended the ceremony with her mother, Lesley, and daughter, Chloe. She said of her horse, who also won the Equine Personality of the Year award: “We work as a team and Robbie has been at the forefront of both my Police volunteer role and a positive influence in my personal life.

Sarah Hills with her horse Robbie. Picture: Suffolk Police
Sarah Hills with her horse Robbie. Picture: Suffolk Police

"He has attended my wedding, my children’s christening day and also Hallowe’en pretending to be a skeleton.

"This partnership has enabled me to achieve so much more both professionally and personally.

"Robbie is special not only to me and my family but to all his fans.

“We are often out and about in the community to engage with people as part of the rural policing strategy and during lockdown we wanted to present a friendly face to people who felt a little isolated along with positively providing a presence in the community.

“I am really proud to receive this award and, as Robbie’s voice, I know he would be, too, having clip-clopped thousands of miles over the years for good causes and supporting our community. Now we have awards covering two years!

"We love our work here in this part of Suffolk – becoming a support volunteer enabled me to embrace both a professional and personal challenge outside of my career.

"I want to thank all of my police colleagues for their support and encouragement, it’s been an honour to be part of the Police Support Volunteer team which has allowed us to be given this amazing recognition.”

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "Well done and congratulations to Sarah and Robbie. They thoroughly deserve this award and I am pleased to see Sarah’s commitment and enthusiasm to her community recognised nationally. Sarah is a great ambassador for the volunteer on horseback scheme and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her, and all our volunteers, for the invaluable support they give the police acting as the eyes and ears of the community."

Suffolk Constabulary’s Citizens in Policing Manager, Karen Harris, added: “We are very proud of Sarah and Robbie winning this special award as recognition of their contribution to supporting Suffolk Constabulary in keeping their local rural community safe.

“Mounted police support volunteers are our eyes and ears in rural areas and they report anything suspicious or unusual directly into our Safer Neighbourhood Teams and our Rural Crime Teams. We are grateful to all of our volunteers for the support they offer our organisation in keeping the county of Suffolk safe.”

BHS Chief Executive James Hick said: “A big congratulations to all the BHS Annual Award winners from the past year. These awards are our way to reward and recognise the incredible achievements of our volunteers, supporters and partners,

Those interested in volunteering for Suffolk Constabulary can do so via their website.