Community champion’s charity earns international award

PUBLISHED: 12:30 12 December 2017

Ashley Jones with the award.

Ashley Jones with the award.

Archant

A community champion has scooped a prestigious accolade for the Weston-based charity he set up to protect the older generation from scams and fraud.

Winners of this year's Community Champions. Picture: Jeremy Long.Winners of this year's Community Champions. Picture: Jeremy Long.

Detective Sergeant Ashley Jones was named as one of five Community Champions of Weston at a ceremony last month and has now picked up an international award on behalf of his charity, the Senior Citizen Liaison Team (SCLT).

The charity was handed the award for the Best Practice Certification at the European Public Sector Awards in Maastricht last month.

The SCLT was shortlisted as one of the top four teams in the Europe-wide competition, which saw 150 entries from 30 different countries.

It has been running since 2009 and became a registered charity in 2012 and works closely with Avon and Somerset Constabulary to protect the area’s senior citizens.

Older people are often the most vulnerable in communities and can be targeted by criminals who seek to exploit them.

The SCLT provides bespoke services designed to keep older adults safe from the dangers of online scam artists.

Ashley, who is a long-standing volunteer and trustee with the charity, told the Mercury: “The charity feels extremely honoured to have been selected by the European Institute of Public Administration, which organises the awards, for the prestigious accolade in this highly-regarded awards process.

“It is especially rewarding as we were the only team of the 150 nominees to be a fully-fledged charity, which is 100 per cent privately funded and staffed by volunteers.

“Our services benefit tens of thousands of vulnerable elders every year and in essence that alone is all the reward we could ever hope to achieve.

“But it is satisfying to receive high-level recognition for our efforts and it should help us gain funding and credibility within our field of voluntary work.”

The awards’ judging jury said: “The SCLT is a fine example of a voluntary initiative supported by many stakeholders.

“The topic – crime prevention for the elderly – is highly relevant. The solution has proved itself to be successful and sustainable and the approach has become more data driven and diverse in its approach in the past few years.”

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