Tracey Bateman received the award for her 14 years of special service with Bedfordshire Police, through volunteer programs at the Mall.
Tracey came across The Mall’s Shopwatch Scheme in January 2008 as an employee of Debenhams, a scheme designed to encourage retailers in The Mall to donate their time to the police force. This was part of the Employee Supported Policing Scheme (of which The Mall itself is a founding member), a nationwide scheme owned by the Home Office, in which employers are encouraged to offer workers a day time off per month to serve in their local. community.
After a rigorous screening process of medical and fitness interviews and tests, Tracey was one of only two employees who met all of the requirements. She is part of the downtown community team and is also an accredited operational football officer.
Tracey said, “What I liked the most (about volunteering) was the community involvement. I met so many people that I still see regularly.
“There have been circumstances where we’ve had people we’ve had to watch because of potential risk, and we’ve gained such a positive engagement with them that they haven’t ended up going that route at the end of the day. I’m proud to have received this medal, I think it’s really nice to be recognized sometimes!
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As well as her volunteering as a special, Tracey is also involved in co-ordinating Center Mall staff volunteers for their chosen charities of the year, Luton Foodbank and Level Trust, and devotes many hours to herself. volunteer for both charities.
Roy Greening, Center Manager at The Mall Luton, said: “Everyone here at The Mall is so proud and happy for Tracey. She is a testament to the volunteer program that we are so proud of, and her passion and dedication to the local Luton community is truly inspiring.
Tracey collected her medal last week from police headquarters in Kempston, but recipients are strictly instructed not to wear it until the Queen’s Jubilee on Friday June 3, when Tracey will start wearing hers with pride.