A group of police officers from Hastings swapped their riot gear for gardening gloves and tools to help out at a children’s hospice.
Twelve officers from Sussex Police went along to Demelza Hospice Care for Children in Sittingbourne on Thursday, October 2.
They arrived at the site in Rook Lane, Bobbing, in their riot vans.
The officers heard about Demelza after one of their colleagues and his family were supported by the charity’s community team in East Sussex and staff at the Kent hospice. The team spent the majority of the visit in the garden at the back of the site, where they helped to put in a raised bed. This will be used to grow fruit and vegetables for the kitchen to use when preparing meals for children, families and staff. The team also helped with some work in the hospice’s Garden of Tranquillity and painted a shed. Once the hard work was finished, the officers donned their riot gear and children, families and members of the care team had fun testing out their shields by throwing apples.
PS Mark Smith, of the East Sussex Neighbourhood Response Team, said: “It was a real honour to volunteer our time to help such a worthy cause. The children at Demelza seemed to enjoy our visit too, there certainly were some good apple throwers.” Julie Brett, community fundraiser for East Sussex, said: “We are very grateful to Sussex Police for giving up their time to help us out.
“Revamping the garden has been a big project and their efforts are really appreciated.”