Help a local child go back to school with a smile with the Paper Dolls Police Academy

Clearing out or buying new school uniform could have a huge impact on a local child starting school.

A St Helens police officer has joined forces with colleagues and Merseyside Police partners to launch the ‘Paper Dolls Police Academy Project’, to provide under-privileged children in the area with uniform to get back to school with confidence.

Inspector Vicky Holden, who works alongside the St Helens Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, created the ‘Paper Dolls Police Academy’ initiative with the support of the staff network she is part of, Parity 21. Any team, unit or department offering to collect and donate school uniform to the scheme gets a paper doll with the first name and age of the child they will be helping.

To publicise the appeal Vicky has been hanging up paper boy and paper girls dolls in the canteen at St Helens police station along with a Back To School supermarket trolley to put donations in.

back to school

Inspector Vicky Holden said: “I was shocked to learn that so many children may be unable to go to school in September due to not having the correct basic pieces of uniform such as pinafores, polo shirts, socks and trousers. As a mother, the thought of my own daughter ever being in that situation really got me thinking.

“It made me determined to do something about it and I came up with the Paper Dolls idea as a way of giving people a physical reminder of who they were buying for or donating to.

People can either buy something new when they are buying their own childrens’ uniforms or donate something that their child has grown out of. My colleagues and our partners will make sure every item reaches a child who really needs it. This has already been an extremely worthwhile appeal and something which can really help underprivileged children make a good start at school.

St Helens Local Policing Superintendent Louise Harrison said: “The response to this project in the last few weeks has been overwhelming, both locally and across the force. It is really heartening to see so many members of our staff helping out members of their own communities, people who are less fortunate.

“Vicky has worked so hard to get this idea off the ground and everyone who has contributed should be very proud each that they are directly helping a child who really needs it.”

If you’d like to donate or to find out more information click here.

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