Teens who helped woman in distress win praise from the Chief Constable

October 07 2016

Teenage students from Sir Bernard Lovell Academy in Oldland Common have been praised by the Chief Constable for their compassion and courage after stepping up to comfort a distressed woman in Bristol.

Andy maRSH

Teenage students from Sir Bernard Lovell Academy in Oldland Common have been praised by the Chief Constable for their compassion and courage after stepping up to comfort a distressed woman in Bristol.

The young people were in the Old Market area of Bristol when they came across the woman, who was visibly upset.

The four girls and three boys talked to the woman and tried to calm her and gave her cash to buy food before calling the police for help as they were concerned that she might harm herself.

Olivia Rowley, Lauren Lerway, Baylea Camm, Rosie McGill and Seb Davis, who are Year 10 students at SBL,  and Liam Davis and Will Coles, who are in Year 10 at IKB Academy, a partner school in the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust, were invited to visit the Avon and Somerset police headquarters in Portishead and to meet the Chief Constable, Andy Marsh, who presented them with letters of thanks and arranged for them to have a tour of the HQ, including the communication centre that took their call for help.

One of the officers called to the incident in June, PC Adam Finlayson, said: “Upon our arrival, they were comforting and supporting the distressed woman and seemed to have struck up a good rapport with her. They provided her reassurance and arguably prevented her from causing herself harm. I was massively impressed by their actions and attitude.”

Will Coles said the students felt honoured to have been given recognition by the Chief Constable.

He said: “We were crossing the bridge and we saw her on the wrong side of the railings so we grabbed her. We called the police and waited with her until they arrived. We asked her if she had any money and she said ‘no’ so we gave her £10.  

“I felt so proud of myself for helping someone in need and hope she is feeling much better and is back on track with her life.”

Rupert Maule, the principal of Sir Bernard Lovell Academy, said: “I am very proud of our students’ actions and the calmness and maturity they showed in such a difficult circumstance. After recognising the nature of the situation, they did not walk on by but had the courage to act as well as the wisdom to call for support via the emergency services.

“To act so responsibly under such pressure is a great testament to their character, values and resilience and gives a great example of how young people can be positive role models within their communities. It is wholly deserved that their actions have been acknowledged by the constabulary.”

Debbie Gibbs, the principal of IKB Academy, said: “We are so proud to have these two boys in Year 10 at IKB and look forward to sharing in their future successes. They have shown great maturity and deserve this public recognition of their compassion and courage.”

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “I heard about what they had done and I was very impressed. I wanted to thank them personally. This was an act of great kindness, compassion and generosity, while others walked by.”