Special Sergeant's hard work recognised with two HEY Smile Foundation awards

North Lincolnshire

13 Oct 2020

A Special Sergeant who last year dedicated over 930 hours of his own time to policing our streets has been recognised with two HEY Smile Foundation Volunteer Awards.

At a virtual awards ceremony last week, Special Sergeant Shane O’Neill was given the award in the category of Public Service Volunteers for his fantastic commitment and dedication as a Special Constable. 

He then went on to win the coveted overall Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award, chosen from the pool of winners from all the categories.  

Special Superintendent Joe Broderick said: “There are some fantastic volunteers both within our force and working with organisations and charities across the region, so to have one of our Special Officers win not only his category but also the overall Volunteer of the Year award is really fantastic. It highlights just how hard Shane works every time he is on shift and the impact that he has made in the 9 years that he has volunteered with us.

“As a Special Officer, Shane has all the same powers and wears the same uniform as a full time paid officer but he does it all on a voluntary basis in his own time, alongside working a full time job in the Healthcare industry.

“Based in North Lincolnshire, Shane always goes above and beyond what is expected, carefully researching what has happened between his shifts so that he can use his time on duty in the most effective way to tackle issues that are impacting our communities.

“This dedication shows through his commitment to the job too. When signing up, our Special Constables commit to completing a minimum of 208 voluntary hours per year for the force. Shane far exceeds this every year, in fact between January and July this year he had already done almost 400 hours.

“I can think of multiple examples of situations where Shane’s actions have undoubtedly helped to make our streets safer.

“From stopping and searching vehicles and recovering drugs and weapons, to arresting offenders for crimes including burglary, domestic abuse and drugs offences, Shane is never afraid to take action against those intent on causing harm to our communities.

“I regularly hear praise for Shane from colleagues across the force who comment on his attention to detail and passion for the job, so I am thrilled that this has also been recognised externally.

“Well done Shane, you thoroughly deserve this award and I can’t wait to see more of what you achieve volunteering for us in the future.”

Speaking at the virtual event, Hey Smile Foundation Chief Executive Andy Barber said: “We like to celebrate volunteers across our patch with these awards, whether they are working within a statutory organisation, a voluntary organisation or doing things off their own backs. [Shane] almost encompasses all three of those.

“He stands out as outstanding for us this evening because of the time, effort and dedication both on the frontline and behind it.

“Shane O’Neill is an outstanding representation for us as a community here in Hull, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

“He’s able to provide a platform for other to follow and he works with individuals both young and old to make sure that our communities are stronger together. 

“A huge thank you to Shane O’Neill. A huge congratulations for the effort and determination that you’ve shown, it has been recognised by your Chief Inspector but also recognised by hundreds of people in the community as well.

“Thank you on behalf of the whole community for the incredible work that you do. You are an inspiration and let’s hope that it inspires more special constables to step forward and volunteer for Humberside Police."

You can watch the full virtual awards ceremony on the Hey Smile Foundation Youtube channel here

If you are interested in joining our Special Constabulary you can find out more information here