Barnstaple girl receives young hero's memorial award

BARNSTAPLE Youth Council s young chairperson Jessica Parkhouse was one of three North Devon recipients at the Devon Police Awards of the Year ceremony. Jessica received the Mark Marshall Young Person s Community Award –a memorial to Mark, a Police Communi

BARNSTAPLE Youth Council's young chairperson Jessica Parkhouse was one of three North Devon recipients at the Devon Police Awards of the Year ceremony.

Jessica received the Mark Marshall Young Person's Community Award -a memorial to Mark, a Police Community Support Officer in Countesswear, who gave his life during service with the Territorial Army in Afghanistan.

It was presented to her by Mark's mother Lynn and sister Jo.

Her citation pointed out that as well as being chairperson of the youth council, Jessica also represents young people in the Barnstaple Alliance and is consulted by the town council on matters affecting young people.


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Through these roles she has been instrumental in several successful community projects.

These include a music festival designed to encourage young people to channel their energy into music and performance; an inter-generational community arts project and a heritage arts project run in conjunction with the restoration of a local historic monument.

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Through her involvement with the youth council, Jessica organised funding for and encouraged young people to take part in the Tidy our Town initiative. Following consultation with the local community, this launched a clean-up of the town with over 100 people assisting in the event.

She is currently involved in a safety awareness project and is planning the production of a DVD targeted at young people addressing drugs, alcohol and personal safety, which is a joint venture between the Youth Council, Devon Youth Service, Police and Safer North Devon.

Jessica also finds time to volunteer with the St John Ambulance.

Her citation continued: "Jessica is an inspiration to both other young people and all members of the community, not least because of the remarkable motivation she shows in putting herself forward, volunteering her time and showing creativity and innovation in finding ways to tackle issues affecting local people of all ages."

A Services to Vulnerable Persons Award went to North Devon Detective Constable Michelle Bishop and an Inspiring Confidence Award to Combe Martin and Ilfracombe College Police Community Support Officer Ade Drury.

More details in next week's Gazette.

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